The Center for Discovery’s Integrated Arts Department was pleased to present Journey Through Oz, a song and dance revue featuring songs from The Wizard of Oz, The Wiz, and Wicked.
Eleven students and residents from The Center for Discovery graced the stage at the Michael Ritchie Big Barn to perform their respective songs and dances, showcasing their incredible talents, unwavering courage, and most of all – heart.
The students and residents began rehearsing in September. And they moved on stage like professionals – singing and dancing to songs like “Ease on Down the Road,” “Defying Gravity,” “Home,” and of course the all-time favorite, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
Many of the singers and dancers are becoming seasoned veterans of the stage. And one of them, Rick, turned to his partner Rachel (an Occupational Therapist) and tried to help ease her nerves! “You got this,” he told her – just as he has been advised in the past. He then went on to have his first vocal solo!
Conio Loretto, TCFD’s Director of Music Therapy, says the performance is in many ways only the icing on the cake. The process of coming together, being together and rehearsing in the studio is life-altering for everyone involved. “Today as I was warming up the performance troupe for the show, I was taken aback again and again by how truly connected the performers are with one another,” he said, “I saw them supporting each other.
Wishing each other well wishes for the show. Joking with each other. Laughing with each other. Caring for each other.” And he added, “True friendships shared by a group of individuals who are supposedly challenged with social connectedness. To me, this is what these shows are all about.”
Kerri Muzuruk, Chief of Education at The Center, witnessed the spectacular performance and helped put the work of the music, dance, and theatre therapy program into a larger context, “So incredible! These kids look like any other high schooler on stage. You guys have tapped into their confidence, their connectedness and their strengths in a way that is life changing.”
Day after day, the residents and students of TFCD are continuing to defy gravity, and we are happy to be a part of that journey along with them.
A special thanks to all of the staff members who added their talents in so many ways and guided the students and residents on stage and backstage. If you would like to learn more about our Integrated Arts Department
at The Center for Discovery, please contact the Office of Strategic Outreach and Partnerships at StrategicOutreach@tcfd.org.