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'Seussical' Performance Will Cater To Special Needs Children

The Union County Arts Center will present the musical as part of its Sensory Friendly Theater series.

Will Horton pay attention to Gertrude? Will Maysie ever return for her egg? For the answers to these and many other questions, children can enjoy a live performance of "Seussical," a musical theater production based on the Dr. Seuss classic tale "Horton Hears a Who," hosted by none other than the Cat in the Hat.

Two performances are scheduled for Feb. 3 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., at the historic Union County Performing Arts Center in the heart of the downtown Rahway Theater District.

The first performance is specially designed for children with autism and related disorders as part of the Sensory Friendly Theater series sponsored by the Freeholder Board.

“Sensory Friendly Theater is a wonderful way for children with special needs to partake in the experience of the performing arts, in a welcoming and supportive atmosphere,” said Freeholder Chairman Linda Carter. “It’s part of our efforts to ensure that healthy, enriching activities are available to Union County residents from all walks of life including children, teens and adults with disabilities.”

For the first show, the Performing Arts Center will become a “judgment free zone” that accommodates children who wish to express their excitement during the performance, get up and move around, or spend some time out of the performance area.

Specially trained staff will also be on hand if parents or caregivers need assistance with their children.

In both the first and second show, "Seussical" features the same unique characters who find themselves intertwined in an incredible crazy-quilt adventure, in which the power of imagination and the most miraculous ''think'' ever save the day.

Sensory Friendly Theater was initiated last year by Freeholder Alexander Mirabella, who held the position of chairman in 2012, as part of his “Putting People First” initiatives.

To design the series, the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation worked with worked with Paper Mill Playhouse and the Children’s Specialized Hospital as well as Autism Friendly Spaces,  an organization that helps people with autism and their families participate in their communities.

The Union County Performing Arts Center is a non-profit 501(c) (3) corporation operating in the historic Rahway Theatre.  Located in downtown Rahway at 1601 Irving St., this historic landmark is the cornerstone of the Rahway Arts District. The theater is a beautifully restored 1920s era former vaudeville house and movie palace owned by the County of Union and managed by the nonprofit Union County Performing Arts Center.

For information on both performances call the UC PAC box office, 732-499-8226 or visit ucpac.org. For information on all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org or call the Public Info Line toll free, 877-424-1234.

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