Young Ecuadoreans stage musical sensation

Associated Press
In this Sept. 21, 2012 photo, two actresses embrace in a backstage dressing room prior to their performance in "Suenos," or “Dreams,” one of Ecuador's most successful musicals, at the Casa de la Cultura theater in Quito, Ecuador. The musical is based in part on the dreams of young people with disabilities and is presented by the nonprofit foundation El Triangulo. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
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QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Not long ago, most of the 80 young cast members of one of Ecuador's most successful musicals were barely seen or heard.

They are blind, autistic, have Down syndrome or other disabilities. But on stage, the actors, singers and dancers of "Suenos," or "Dreams," easily transcend their limitations.

"What I like about this project is that it dignifies the disabled. Above all, the intellectually challenged, who have faced a lot of prejudice," said Marisol Nunez, a young blind woman whose acting and singing has captivated crowds.

Nunez lost her eyesight as a child to a congenital disease and is among the most experienced actors and singers in the cast.

The musical, which premiered three years ago, is based in part on the dreams of young people with disabilities and is presented by the nonprofit foundation El Triangulo.

Those dreams have now been shared with thousands, and not just in Ecuador. Scenes from the musical have also been performed by cast members in the United States and Europe.

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