Each summer, the Paramount Theatre’s Education/Outreach Department hires twenty low income students whose paid, summer job is to write, produce, and tour a production. For this project, the goal of the production is to capture the students’ voices as well as the voices of their community. The five week experience concludes with a final public performance on the historic Paramount stage this Saturday, July 9th at 3PM.
For one student, this performance has strong personal meaning as a “movement piece” in the show is inspired by her brother, a child with Autism who stands to be greatly affected by the cutting of Plugerville’s program for autistic children. Her family moved to Pflugerville from Dallas where they were told repeatedly that their son couldn’t learn anything, including how to speak or communicate and who was even strapped in a chair when he was having a “meltdown.” Once in Plugerville’s autistic program, he learned to tie his shoes, write his name, and use a computer device that helped him communicate. In less than a month he was able to use his device to say, “I want cookie.” He could tell his mom when he was tired. He then began to use the device to tell her how he was feeling and even said, “Mom, I love you.”
Now the family is devastated that the loss in funding will mean their son will be placed in a class with 22 other students with little chance for individual attention and will likely rapidly digress.
A non-profit itself, The Paramount’s Education and Outreach program focuses on giving kids a voice, and in this case, we are literally giving voice to a child who can’t speak.
The Performance takes place Saturday, July 9th at 3PM on the historic Paramount stage. The show is open to the public and tickets are available day of at the box office: $5 for adults and $1 for students.