The house lights dim, the curtain rises, and the crowd hushes as they wait for the actors to take their places and the performance to begin. To the untrained eye, the atmosphere may look like that of one of the great playhouses of Broadway, but upon a closer look, one sees that the impending performance is far grander and more applause worthy than any Tony-Award winning show.

This performance is all about the students of The Moog Center’s Theatre Workshop in the Early Elementary department.

These students, all children who have varying degrees of hearing loss, have painted scenery, memorized lines, and gathered costumes in rehearsal for their current production – be it a whimsical take on the classic Three Little Pigs or a fun romp through Grimm’s fairytale Henny Penny. In the process, they have worked with language in a whole new way (that they discovered is really fun!) and have found new aspects of themselves through the lens of performance: Who knew I could rock out like Elvis when playing the king in Henny Penny? Who would have thought I could be so funny playing a sassy little pig in The Three Little Pigs? Wow, look at me, I’m a star!

And these students are not alone in their endeavor. Their performance involves the entire school – classroom teachers and speech language pathologists are acting coaches, parents assist with costume design and audience recruitment, and the administration has taken over as their hard-working PR team.

So by the time that opening curtain goes up, everyone is in on the fun and ready to see another stellar performance. Watch out, you kings and queens of Broadway, one of these kids may be stealing an Academy Award from you one day…and that’s showbiz, KID!