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Sharing The Arts & Ridgewood High School Present Musical Production of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
Date:12/15/2008

BergenCounty Special Needs Children & High School Student Volunteers Collaborate in Musical Production

RIDGEWOOD N.J. and HAWTHORNE, N.J., Dec. 15/PRNewswire/ -- Sharing The Arts, a Hawthorne, NJ based non-profit performing arts organization and conservatory bringing together individuals with mild to moderate developmental delays and community student volunteers, is pleased to announce that its members, all children and teens with special needs are performing in its production of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" together with Ridgewood High School student volunteers on Tuesday, December 16th at Ridgewood High School's Little Theater in Ridgewood, New Jersey. An open dress rehearsal begins at 5 pm and one show begins at 7 pm. Tickets are still available to the 5 pm open dress rehearsal.

The 12 children and teens performing in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" have a range of special needs including Aspergers, profound deafness, autism and the chromosome abnormalities 18q-, 2 q- and Triple x Syndrome. One of the children - who plays Augustus Gloop - is completely non-verbal, yet signs to communicate. The children and teens hail from Northern New Jersey, Rockland County and New York City.

More than 15 high school volunteers are also involved with the production, taking on a variety of acting and backstage roles. These high school students dedicated an hour each Tuesday for 10 weeks to work with the children and the teens with the special needs after school at Ridgewood High School.

Liz Grossman, Sharing the Arts Founder and Creative Director noted, "The process of bringing all of these students together and presenting such a musical on stage has been amazing and the impact has been enormous for all! The stories that emerge are worth sharing far and wide."

Karen Sheehy Sharing the Arts Founder and Program & Volunteer Coordinator noted, "It takes a special group of kids and a special group of volunteers to allow this to happen. The entire community in neighboring towns has contributed its efforts to allow our special needs students and the RHS students to come together. Programs, lighting, video, tickets all are possible due to family volunteers in our community.

The Musical Theater Program is just one program offered through Sharing the Arts, a performing arts organization for individuals with special needs. This non-profit organization was started by two Bergen County mothers who both have children with special needs. Sharing the Arts has a conservatory in Hawthorne, New Jersey offering a variety of classes, workshops and opportunities for individuals with special needs. These classes include pre-ballet, ballet, modern, jazz, tap, musical theater, yoga, vocal, age zero through 3 music programs, Irish dance, folk-dancing, weekend socials, a dance company, acting and playwriting as well as workshops and classes for parents.

About Sharing The Arts

Sharing the Arts is a non-profit performing arts organization and conservatory for individuals with mild to moderate developmental delays, including chromosomal abnormalities, Aspergers, and other genetic and developmental anomalies. Its mission is to enhance the lives of individuals with special needs through the performing arts. Classes are led by professional performing artists and qualified instructors with support staff to provide redirection and assistance. Pre-teen through college-age volunteers serve as assistants, demonstrators, mentors as well as friends in the class. Presentation and performance opportunities likewise exist.

For information, contact Karen Sheehy- -program/volunteer coordinator at 201-689-2397.


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SOURCE Sharing The Arts
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