There was a feeling of excitement in the air as the Marinello Little Theatre overflowed with YouthAbility members racing around in tie-dye shirts. They prepped for their performance while proud parents and caregivers posed for pictures and found their seats in the front rows of the small theatre on Tuesday, April 16. It was clear that the The Horvitz YouthAbility Program of Jewish Family Service Association members had been practicing this production for months, and could not wait to show off their finished product to their supporters.
According to their website, “YouthAbility serves disabled and at-risk youth by engaging them in volunteer service, vocational activities and social enrichment.”
After warming up to Katy Perry’s “Firework,” it was no secret that these kids loved to dance and were ready to perform. The half-hour production centered around the phrase “Life Rocks,” and included parodies to popular songs such as “We Will Rock You” and “We Got the Beat.” Each participant had several lines memorized and proudly spoke when they were given their cue.
The message of the play revolved around the goals of each member to take personal responsibility to make their “life rock,” whether that be striving to live independently, or studying harder in school.
The entire production was created by the enthusiastic and brilliant YouthAbility members as they wrote and memorized the lines and built their own set. The performers said they were inspired by public figures such as Michael Jordan and Oprah.
From lifting each other off the ground, to helping one another with lines that were forgotten, there was no doubt that YouthAbility is all about being a team. The parents, teachers and JCU volunteers are their number one fans who not only cheered them on at this performance, but throughout life.
During the closing scene, the question was “are you ready for the race?” As in, are you ready for the “race” that is life? For the finale, encouraged by applause and thumbs ups from the audience, each YouthAbility member exclaimed “my life rocks!” – making it clear YouthAbility is ready to win the race and rock on.