UNION COUNTY — How will Pinocchio survive the giant whale? How will he save his father? And how will this irrepressible wooden puppet ever achieve his dream of becoming a real boy?
The classic adventure of Pinocchio gets a thrilling new twist from The New Jersey Ballet Company, which will perform the children’s ballet “Pinocchio” on Sunday, March 10, at 2 p.m. at the Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway.
This special performance of Pinocchio is designed for children with autism and related disabilities as part of the Sensory Friendly Theater series sponsored by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. An on-stage narrator will tell the story as it unfolds, so even the youngest children can keep up with the action.
Sensory Friendly Theater was established as an initiative of last year’s Union County Freeholder Chairman, Alexander Mirabella. Additional performances have been scheduled this year under the current Chairman, Linda Carter.
“The performing arts provide children with a unique window on the world, and Sensory Friendly Theater helps to ensure that this wonderful experience is accessible to all children in the Union County community,” said Carter.
Sensory Friendly Theater creates a judgment-free cultural experience that welcomes children who wish to express their excitement during the performance, or who wish to leave the performance area for some quiet time. Trained staff will also be on hand to provide assistance for parents and caregivers if needed.
It is part of the Freeholder Board’s broader commitment to ensure that healthy, enriching activities are available to Union County residents from all walks of life including children, teens and adults with disabilities.
To design the Sensory Friendly Theater series, the Union County Department of Parks and Community Renewal worked with Paper Mill Playhouse and Children’s Specialized Hospital as well as Autism Friendly Spaces, an organization that helps people with autism and their families participate in their communities.
UCPAC is a non-profit corporation operating in the historic Rahway Theatre, a beautifully preserved former 1920s vaudeville house and movie palace conveniently located in the heart of the Rahway Arts District at 1601 Irving St.
Tickets for Pinocchio are $8 for all seats. To purchase tickets or to get more information about Pinocchio and Sensory Friendly Theater call the UCPAC 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 at 877-424-1234.