What is the Penguin Project?


Established in 2004, Penguin Project gives children with special needs the opportunity to be on stage. All roles in a Penguin Project production are filled with artists with special needs, including Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities visual impairment, hearing impairment, and other neurological disorders. They are joined on stage by a dedicated group of “peer mentors” – children the same age without disabilities who have volunteered to work side-by-side with them through 4 months of rehearsals and through the final performance. By providing access to community theater, The Penguin Project demonstrates that the special challenges of a disability should not handicap a child’s ability to participate in life’s experiences.

What is the production schedule like?

The production starts with an informational meeting in October, where the artists, the peer mentors, the parents, and the production team meet and learn about the program. During the next four months, there are usually 3-4 rehearsals a week that are no longer than 90 minutes. During each rehearsal, each artist has a peer mentor who learns right alongside with him/her. The peer mentors learn all of blocking, lines, and choreography and work with their artist. Some rehearsals are for the ensemble, some are for the leads, but all are fun!

As we get closer to the production dates, rehearsals will move to being for all artists and peer mentors as we get closer to running the show. We have three exciting performances on the weekend of March 6, 7, and 8.

How can you help?

Help us get the word out! Please share this with your friends and family! We want as many parents in the Tampa area as possible to know about this.

Peer Mentors: If you are between the ages of 8 and up and have some theatre on stage experience, we would love to have you involved with the Penguin Project! We will be happy to complete paperwork for community service/volunteer hours for school or church.

Community Members: As this production gets underway, we will need a peer mentor coordinator and technical production team (sets, lights, sound, painters, costumers). We will also need snacks! If you are interested in being on the production team for the Penguin Project, please contact us through messenger or email Nora Paine at president@newtampaplayers.org.

Sponsors: If you or your business would like sponsor/donate to this special experience, please contact Nora Paine at president@newtampaplayers.org. Our sponsors and donors will be recognized in all of our media, programs, website, and through our social media efforts.

Interested? Please fill out our interest form on the left to join our mailing list and keep up with the latest news!

Our New Space:
Uptown Stage
@University Mall
2200 Fowler Ave
Tampa, FL 33612

Mailing Address:
New Tampa Players

P.O. Box 48502

Tampa, FL 33646

T: 813-644-8285




Check out our Practical Cats Project

New Tampa Players Anti-Discrimination Statement


New Tampa Players (NTP) believes in equal opportunity for their volunteers, actors, employees and members. NTP's success depends on the effective utilization of qualified people, regardless of their race, creed, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law. We will not discriminate on the basis of these characteristics.

 NTP expects all organizational volunteers, actors, employees and members to adhere to current accessibility regulations.


Reasonable accommodations to ensure inclusion by all participants will be made for NTP events.


NTP encourages its volunteers, employees, actors,  and members to give this non-discrimination policy their full support through leadership and personal example.

© 2019 by New Tampa Players. All rights reserved