CONTACT: Tom Plante, (908) 527-4746
Seb D’Elia, (908) 527-4419


Local Teens Take the Stage at Union County Performing Arts Center, April 16

RAHWAY, NJ – Most teenagers daydream about singing or dancing on a stage before a live audience. That dream becomes reality for 300 Union County middle and high school students on Wednesday, April 16, at 7:00 p.m., when they perform at the Union County Performing Arts Center, 1601 Irving Street, in Rahway’s downtown arts district. An exhibit of students’ visual artwork will be on display in the reception area.

Jazz combos, vocal groups, pianists, dancers and theater performances were selected from the 3,000 students who participated at the 2008 Teen Arts Festival at Union County College in Cranford on March 6th and 7th. 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 Union County Department of Parks and Community Renewal.

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. It’s 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 festival is a wonderful opportunity for students to interact with professional artists while sharing their own talents with students from other schools,” said Angel G. Estrada, Chairman of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. “Students appearing in the Showcase represent all arts disciplines and municipalities that participated in the 2008 Festival.”

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; in 1985, it became the Union County Arts Center. The theatre, which features live performances, seats more than 1,300 people. The theatre recently reopened after being closed 22 months for renovation.

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 and family members of participating students are invited to attend the Showcase along with the general public. Tickets to the Showcase are free and are available by contacting the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, 633 Pearl Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07202. Telephone: 908-558-2550.  NJ Relay Users dial 711. Or email:

Schedule of Performances, April 16, 2008

David Brearley HS, Kenilworth, Theatre Group

“Damn Yankees”

Linden HS Dance Company

“Motown Philly”

Mother Seton RHS, Clark, Monique Pineros, Piano Solo

“Alla Tarantella”

Edison Intermediate, Westfield, Oliver! Cast

“I’d Do Anything”

AL Johnson, Clark, Dance Solo,
Elizabeth Rose Zwierzynski


Linden HS Musical Theatre Touring Troupe

“Broadway Medley”

Hillside Catholic Academy, Hillside, Brittany Henderson,
Vocal Solo


Plainfield HS Dance

“Should Be Crying”

Rahway HS, Dance Solo, Daphne Lee


Plainfield HS Theatre Group

“Strong Black Woman
Is Dead”

Linden HS, Gabriel Cano


Elizabeth HS Jazz Ensemble

“In a Mellow Tone”

Mother Seton RHS, Clark, Gospel Choir

“Because of Who
You Are"

David Brearley HS, Kenilworth, Jazz Ensemble

“Blue Bossa”

TC Reilly Jazz Choir, Elizabeth


Elizabeth HS Guitar Ensemble

“Tribute to the Beatles”

AL Johnson HS Chorus, Clark

“My Bonnie Lass”

Hillside HS Jazz Band

“It’s Only a Paper Moon”