SAC theatre students give back
Residents at The
Unicorn Center were all smiles and giddy this week when SAC Theatre students
showed up to sing to them. Several students and their instructors decided to
give back to a community that helped them prepare for their production of The
Boys Next Door. The group visited The Unicorn Center and sang Christmas Carols,
read a poem, said jokes, passed out candy canes and mingled with the residents.
There was also a presentation of a $200 check to the center from the theatre
felt this was a great way to give back to the community that helped them with
their production. The group had visited the center in preparation for The Boys
Next Door to do research in how people with intellectual development
disabilities cope and live with their daily struggles.
Charles Falcon, instructor
of theatre and director for The Boys Next Door, said when the group was there
doing their research one of the employees pulled him aside and told him it
would be a great idea if they could come back and do something for the people
God-based organization, Falcon took that as a sign that they would have to do
something for the center’s customers. He said that he would have gone back by
himself if need be, but he didn’t have to, his cast wanted to do something for
the center as well.
“It’s just a
small way for us to give back,” said Falcon.
a cast member, said the experience was very rewarding for her.
“It’s nice to be
able to give back and walk away with warm fuzzy feelings. It’s a really joyful
experience,” said Padilla.
member, Andy Silva, said it was something that they should be doing, giving
back to this community, especially because of the show they did, what it
consisted of and how much the people there helped them with researching and
developing their characters.
“It’s a great
thing to give back, especially during the holidays,” said Silva.
Jim De Hoog,
Chaplain and director of customer service at the center, said it was awesome to
have community people come into the Unicorn. “It’s exciting to have community
people come in and interact with them for a short time, or all day.”
De Hoog said as
a center that helps their customers become independent, productive, to feel
included in the community, find jobs and to just help them grow as people, it
was a neat experience to see the customers having a great time, hearing their
applause and seeing them want to get up and be involved with the cast members.
“It brings a little joy in their lives,” said
The Unicorn Center
Founded in 1984,
the center provides recreational activities for individuals with intellectual
development disabilities (IDD). It is also a vocational training and job
placement for adults with IDD located in San Antonio. Unicorn offers life
enhancement through the combination of half-day contract work, life skills
training, job placement, job coaching and long-term follow-up. According to the
website, Unicorn customers are empowered to achieve their maximum potential for
independence and productivity in the workplace and in the community through
The Boys Next Door
The Boys Next Door was about
four mentally challenged men trying to regular
lives in a group home and the man who helps them. They consist of Norman, who
works at a donut shop and has a thing for keys; Barry who thinks he is a golf
pro and doesn't communicate well with his father; Arnold, who is into all
things Russian and has a habit of spending money; and Lucien, who is into
Spider Man and must testify before the state senate.