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SAC theatre students…

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.
Sac Students visit Unicorn Center

SAC theatre students give back

 Sac Students visit Unicorn Center 2 

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 department.

The students 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 there.

Being a 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.

Esther Padilla, 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.

Another cast 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 De Hoog.

 /uploadedImages/San_Antonio_College/Library/Images/News/SAC-Theatre-at-Unicorn1.jpg 

 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 specialized programs.

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.

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