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Hollywood Takes Note Of Inspiring Actors With Disabilities

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Some Hollywood heavy-hitters took notice of a group of actors with developmental disabilities and turned them into movie stars.

The performances by Partnership Resources Inc. in Minneapolis are inspiring.

“You have to clap and get everybody riled up because it’s a high school gym on stage,” said performer Zach Schwartz.

The musical ‘Hairspray’ can be heard loud and clear inside their building. Like all trained actors, the group of adults with developmental disabilities warms up before each practice and performance.

“I try and work with them to have fun, get their bodies moving, get their self-confidence going,” said volunteer vocal coach Janet Graves.

An online video of their ‘Hairspray’ performance caught the attention of the Tony award-winning composer of the actual musical, Marc Shaiman.

“I was just overwhelmed. When I saw the video I immediately started clicking about, looking for who to contact to say thank you,” said Shaiman.

Shaiman along with the movie’s writer and director, John Waters came to Minneapolis see the performances for themselves.

“We were very touched by (the performance), and very moved, so congrats! I’m giving you a good review,” said Waters when he met the group.

A documentary crew came to capture the work the actors put into the performance with the hopes of sharing the feel-good story with the world.

“It feels so great, so wonderful. Amazing,” said performer Janett Wukawitz. “It’s my dream to become a dancer, a movie star.”

“I’m getting ready to just show it out to the audience,” said performer Alex Schnarr. “This is something they want to see and they got it.”

The film called ‘Born For The Stage’ will premiere at 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at St. Anthony Main Theatres in Minneapolis on Wed., Nov. 30.

Before the documentary is screened, the group will perform pieces from five musicals.

Tickets cost is $15. Click here for more information.

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