There was barely a dry eye in the house at the Theatre of Western Springs on December 5. That night, SEASPAR hosted our 10th annual Holiday Spectacular, a showcase of our participants talents in various arts such as music, dance, and theatre.
Ninety-nine performers included participants in SEASPAR’s Voice and Music Lessons, Glee Club, Actors Guild, EAGLES adult day program, and Adapted Music Lessons, as well as independent performers.
One of the stars of the show, Ram Tibudan of Woodridge, is a 12-year-old participant in SEASPAR’s Adapted Music Lessons. Ram’s cerebral palsy limits his mobility, so he uses specialized touchpad instruments. Every week, Ram practices his music with instructor Greg Pavesich at SEASPAR’s Wonders Multi-Sensory Room at the Lisle Park District. At the Holiday Spectacular, he performed the song “Believe in Yourself” by *NSYNC.
“When we were first introduced to the adapted music program, we were not sure how Ram would be able to handle it,” said Ram’s mother, Shalini. “Mr. Greg made changes to meet Ram’s accessibility needs. He made it fun. Ram and the family look forward to seeing Mr. Greg every week. He wishes he could go every day.”
Shalini added, “This adapted music program allows anyone to have stage experience during this holiday season. It builds kids’ self-esteem and confidence.”
The Holiday Spectacular performers have no shortage of confidence. Emma Randleman, a 24-year-old participant from Woodridge, sang “That Would Be Enough” from the hit musical Hamilton before joining her fellow Glee Club members for a performance of Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick’s “True Colors.” The group performed the song through voice and sign language simultaneously.
Emma was one of many participants who took to the stage more than once to perform independently and with their peers in SEASPAR group programs like Glee Club, Actors Guild, and EAGLES.
“The Holiday Spectacular is one of the best days of the year for participants, their families, and our staff,” said Susan Friend, Executive Director of SEASPAR. “Every day, we focus on the abilities, not the disabilities. And seeing those abilities on stage, along with the confidence and courage it takes to get there, is a truly spectacular experience.”
View photos from the event on Flickr!