'True meaning of the holiday:' Students with different abilities perform annual play
REGINA -- Every year, Campus Regina Public School has its students perform a Christmas play, but because of varying disabilities, it’s a performance unlike any other.
The students range in ages and each one has their own way of performing their lines or actions.
“A lot of our students are non-verbal, so they have different devices that will help them say their lines,” Brittany McGeough, an inclusive education teacher and the playwrite, said.
Some students are in wheelchairs, and the staff decorate the chairs to depict their character.
Some have trouble speaking and communicating, so rely on recordings from staff members to get their lines out.
The staff say the yearly tradition is a way for the entire school to come together to celebrate the “true meaning of the holiday.”
“These kids don’t have a lot of time in the spotlight, so this is one time that they get to be the ones up on stage,” Cary-Ann Schaeffer, a paraprofessional with the school, said.
The teachers involved say they see significant growth in the students from when rehearsals begin, to when the performance takes place.
“The students have improved their communication skills, they improved their social skills, they improved on just being with everyone,” McGeough said. “I think they just feel a sense of belonging, and as thought they have a sense of responsibility from their roles.”
Over the seven years that the play has been happening, performances have gotten longer, and crowds have gotten bigger. This year’s performance drew approximately 400 spectators to watch “Holiday Time Machine.”