LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) - Getting up and performing in front of a crowd can be intimidating but Sunday a cast of 29 Special Olympics athletes from La Crosse took to the stage to show case their talents and show us there are no limits even if you have a disability.
“It's just a time to shine and to show our abilities that we can do anything and just to enjoy ourselves and have fun,” Renee Cappetto, who played Dorothy said.
The red shoes on the stage weren’t the only thing shining underneath the spotlights as the group performed the “Magical Land of Oz”.
“It's a lot of fun to do and it's a lot of hard work,” Heather Hansen who played the Wicked Witch said.
For 18 months the actors and actresses with special needs have been hard at work, memorizing lines and learning dance routines.
“It was very hard keeping everybody in one spot sometimes we had to search for them and getting costumes on took almost an hour and a half,” Cappetto explained.
Cappetto says she got the idea to start a drama club with the La Crosse Special Recreation Program for people with special needs to be able to express themselves on stage.
“It started off as just little talent shows, showing your talent no matter what it is,” Cappetto explained.
From talent shows the club grew and so did the confidence of the actors on stage.
“We are all happy and cheerful. We are a happy family,” participant Tim Lueck said.
“That sense of joy and pride and accomplishment. I think we all want that and to really see it come to life, that's amazing,” Choreographer Jen TeBeest said.
TeBeest says the play helped the actors and actresses work together as a group to meet a common goal, and when it came to show time the talent shined through.
“I think it’s wonderful to see the support and just how we can work together,” TeBeest added.
The La Crosse Special Recreation Program says all of the money raised from the play this weekend will help fund Special Olympics athletes and will be put toward future performances.