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Teens Take the Stage at Union County Performing Arts Center, May 7

Most teenagers daydream about singing or dancing on a stage before a live audience. That dream becomes reality for some Union County middle and high school students at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7, when they perform in the Teen Arts Showcase at the Union County Performing Arts Center, 1601 Irving Street, in Rahway’s downtown arts district. 

Instrumental groups, vocal groups, pianists, dancers and theater performers were selected from the 3,500 students who participated at the 2013 Teen Arts Festival at Union County College in Cranford in March. The annual 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.

“Teen Arts is a wonderful opportunity for students to interact with professional artists while sharing their own talents with students from other schools," said Freeholder Chairman Linda Carter. “Students appearing in the Showcase represent many of the performing arts disciplines and the municipalities that participated in this year’s festival.” 

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Teachers, students, friends and family of performers are invited to attend the Showcase along with the general public. Admission is free. The Teen Arts Showcase on May 7 is sponsored by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Union County Performing Arts Center.

The annual 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 visual arts, music, creative writing, theater, media arts and dance. The Festival’s focus is not on competition but an 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 the Rahway Theatre, opened in 1928 as a classic vaudeville/movie showplace. In 1984, the theatre was saved by a dedicated group of volunteers. The theatre features live performances and seats more than 1,300 people.   

For more information contact the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, 633 Pearl Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07202. Telephone: 908-558-2550.  NJ Relay Users dial 711. E-mail: Culturalinfo@ucnj.org.

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