Staff at the Center for Theater Arts is hoping the public is so star-struck by the moves of the special needs dancers in the upcoming "Prom Night -- An Evening with the Stars" that visitors will dance along.
"A big dance is inclusion at its best," planner Billy Hartung said.
Mr. Hartung is executive director of the center, which is hosting the fundraiser. It benefits the center's Special Actors program for youngsters and adults with special needs, at which everyone is encouraged to dance.
The event is from 6 to 10 p.m. Nov. 9 at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church, 123 Gilkeson Road, Mt. Lebanon.
All proceeds from this 10th annual fundraiser go to the Special Actors program of the nonprofit center at 250 Mt. Lebanon Blvd., Mt. Lebanon.
"We feel the community we serve is our stars; ... It is an under-served community," Mr. Hartung said.
The center offers weekly free musical theater classes for special needs children and adults. Goals are for students to enjoy the singing, dancing and acting, and to develop communication skills and self-confidence. The classes culminate in a year-end performance.
"The center focuses on the abilities of our students and not their disabilities," Mr. Hartung said.
The special needs classes, which are held from 4 to 8:30 p.m. Fridays, attract more than 100 students ages 4 to 78.
Classes for other students are held at the center every day except Sundays.
At the dance, some students -- as tradition holds -- will get up on stage for impromptu performances, Mr. Hartung said. Songs from the movie "Grease" are always popular.
"It is really exciting to see this unedited stuff," he said.
Performance aside, the best part of the endeavor is the "community spirit," Mr. Hartung said.
"It's really beautiful to see everybody get together and have a good time for a great cause," he said.
Tickets, $20, include a buffet, door prizes and auction.
For advance tickets, call 412-563-5080. Tickets, but with no guarantee of dinner, will be available at the door.
Details: www.centerfortheaterarts.org or 412-563-5080.neigh_south
Margaret Smykla, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org