The Theatre of Western Springs was bursting with applause, laughter, and holiday cheer on December 3. That night, the South East Association for Special Parks And Recreation (SEASPAR) hosted its 12th annual Holiday Spectacular, a showcase of SEASPAR participants with disabilities’ talents in performing arts such as music, dance, and theatre.
Nearly 90 performers took the stage in 19 performances, including participants in SEASPAR’s Voice and Music Lessons, Glee Club, Actors Guild, EAGLES adult day program, and Adapted Music Lessons, as well as independent performers.
Most of the performers were familiar with the stage, including 14-year-old Aidan Hincks of Western Springs, who opened the show by singing “Jingle Bell Rock.” Shawn Spera of Brookfield brought his infamous dance moves to this year’s recital with a high-energy costumed performance of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” Paul Bures of La Grange Park returned to perform “Santa’s Got a Bag of Soul” on touchpad instruments that he plays with his chin in Adapted Music Lessons, and SEASPAR’s Glee Club sang and danced through two inspirational performances.
New to the stage this year was 9-year-old Nikita Blajco of Woodridge, a participant in SEASPAR’s Music Lessons, who performed two holiday songs on piano. Chris Loy of Downers Grove, a fixture at SEASPAR’s dance parties, brought his crew from the Downers Grove Park District’s Adult Hip Hop Class to perform to “Jingle Bird Jingle.”
“The Holiday Spectacular is a highlight of the year for our participants, their families, and our staff,” said Matthew Corso, Executive Director of SEASPAR. “Months of practice and hard work go into these performances, which demonstrate the skills and confidence that our arts programming is designed to cultivate. And for the audience, the event is a joyful and inspirational addition to their holiday season.”
SEASPAR is releasing a video of one performance each day through December 25 on its Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.