Many teenagers daydream about singing or dancing on stage before a live audience. That dream becomes reality for Union County middle and high school students on Wednesday, April 28, at 7:00 p.m. when they take to the stage at the Union County Performing Arts Center, 1601 Irving Street, in Rahway's downtown arts district.

Jazz combos, vocal groups, pianists, dancers and speakers were selected to perform on April 28 from the 4,000 students who participated in the 2010 Teen Arts Festival last month at Union County College in Cranford. An exhibit of students' visual artwork from the Festival will be on display in the reception area at the Arts Center. The annual Teen Arts Festival is sponsored by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and coordinated by the Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs in the Department of Parks and Community Renewal.

"The Festival is a wonderful opportunity for students to interact with professional artists while sharing their own talents with students from other schools," said Freeholder Chairman Daniel Sullivan. "Students appearing in the April 28 Showcase represent all arts disciplines and the municipalities that participated in the 2010 Festival."

The Teen Arts Festival is a two-day celebration of the arts where students and a staff of 50 professional artists participate in performances, critiquing seminars, master classes and workshops in every discipline - visual arts, music, creative writing, theater, media arts and dance. The Festival's focus is not on competition but on the opportunity for students to develop perceptual, intellectual and technical skills; gain cultural awareness and understanding; develop personal, aesthetic values; and learn self-discipline, critical thinking and problem solving through analyzing, interpreting and making judgments.

The historic Union County Performing Arts Center, formerly known as the Rahway Theatre, opened in 1928 as a classic vaudeville/movie showplace. In 1984, the theatre was saved by a dedicated group of volunteers, and in 1985 it became the Union County Arts Center. The theatre, which features live performances, seats more than 1,300 people.

The Teen Arts Showcase is sponsored by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Union County Performing Arts Center. Teachers, fellow students, friends, relatives and the general public are invited to attend the Showcase free of charge. For more information contact the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, 633 Pearl Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07202. Phone: 908-558-2550. NJ Relay Users dial 711. Email: