“The students have a huge part in creating the musical,” music director Marilyn Sherlin said.
Students help pick the songs, create the sets and inspire the choreography.
Sherlin said the goal for the show this year was to make each person feel like they had met all 28 students by the end of the show.
The audience did have the chance to meet the actors after the show during an autograph signing.
The show highlighted the many talents of the Trousdale students, including singing, dancing, martial arts and sign language.
The musical also found ways to showcase other unique things about the students, such as Craig Weatherly’s keen interest in knowing the daily weather forecast. A segment of the show called the Weatherly Report featured Weatherly giving weather updates.
Trousdale also highlighted its own Olympian, Leslie Burnett. Burnett recently participated in the Special Olympics in Greece.
In between scenes, the audience met each of the performers through a brief biography read by the show’s narrator. The biographies told about each student’s hopes and dreams. Many dreamed of one day performing with their favorite singers and actors. One student wants to one day work at the Knoxville Zoo, while another wants to own his own home with a garden.
From “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban to “Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas, the performance featured a variety of songs that made the audience cry and laugh.
The musical closed with a special song written by the music director especially for the performance. “Welcome to my World” was written by Sherlin from the perspective of a Trousdale student.
Trousdale School serves as a day school for adults with intellectual disabilities. The school features many programs including academics, sports and help finding a job.