The Augustana College Department of Theatre, with the Center for Living Arts, will present Penguin Project’s production of “The Little Mermaid Jr.” Jan. 21-30, 2022 at the Brunner Theatre on the campus of Augustana College, Rock Island.

Penguin Project veteran directors Dino Hayz and Tina Hayz will once again be directing this performance. 

The Penguin Project, based in Peoria, Ill., was founded in 2003 and has chapters all around the country. The Penguin Project gives students with special needs unrestricted access to the experience of performing on stage, according to a college release Thursday. Each student is paired with a peer mentor who will work with them during all rehearsals and performances.

Michelle Oliger and her mentor Mia Hixson in the new Penguin Project production of “The Little Mermaid Jr.”

The Quad Cities chapter of Penguin Project was founded in 2016.

“Looking back at the short history of the Quad Cities Penguin Project, it’s hard to believe that from our first production six years ago, the number of Penguin Project chapters in the U.S. has grown from 13 to 50,” says Jeff Coussens, professor of theatre arts at Augustana College and executive director of the QC Penguin Project chapter.

“The Penguin Project transforms the lives of everyone who experiences it, including our artists, their mentors, the directors, designers, technicians, stage crew, parents, families, volunteers and everyone who sees it,” he said in the release.

Alex Smith and mentor Olivia Johnson in the new Penguin Project production of “The Little Mermaid Jr.”

Tickets are $12 each and can be purchased at Augustana.edu/tickets. Advance ticket purchase is encouraged as performances typically sell out.

All audience members ages 12 and up must provide proof of full vaccination and valid ID (proof of boosters not required). Negative COVID-19 tests will not be accepted.

Masks will be required. For additional information, contact the Ticket Office at 309-794-7306.