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Dutchess County to Host ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY’ Sensory-Friendly Storytelling Experience

Published: 10/25/2022

Complimentary Live Storytelling Event 
Thursday, Nov. 10th at Bardavon 1869 Opera House

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro invites residents of all abilities and their families to a free sensory-sensitive, live storytelling performance titled “Talking Birds and Golden Fish: A Collection of Global Animal Tales” with David Gonzalez on Thursday, November 10th at 6pm, at the Bardavon Opera House, located at 35 Market Street in Poughkeepsie. In participation with this ThinkDIFFERENTLY event, the theater will adjust both the lighting and sound to make the experience more enjoyable for those on the autism spectrum or who experience sensory issues. Individuals, families and support agencies are all invited to this free event. Seating is limited; registration is required and can be completed at

County Executive Molinaro said, “As a father of a child on the autism spectrum I know it makes a big difference when events are sensory friendly and can be enjoyed by the whole family. I am proud we can offer events such as this live storytelling show and look forward to an evening that will be charming, educational, and fun for all ages and abilities.” 

A captivating storyteller and experienced performer for I/DD audiences, David Gonzalez will bring his casual and simple staging to his “Talking Birds and Golden Fish” performance. The show features animal tales from India, Persia, South America and the Caribbean. The creatures in the stories share life lessons and demonstrate a positive and inclusive environment for all. David brings the stories alive using his voice through stories and singing, and physical movements. 

David’s stories bring to life an inspiration, delight, and deliver messages that speak to kids and adults alike. The theater will keep the lights up and the volume down. Additionally, there will be fewer multimedia displays will be used to keep sensory stimuli low. 

For additional details, residents can view the event flyer online.

This event is the second of three ThinkDIFFERENTLY events the County is sponsoring at the Bardavon this year. The first, a sensory friendly showing of the movie “Inside Out” that took place in mid-October and was well received. An hour-long, sensory-sensitive performance of “The Nutcracker” will close out the series on Dec. 9th. 

County Executive Molinaro created the “ThinkDIFFERENTLY” initiative in 2015 as a way of fostering a more welcoming and inclusive community for individuals of all abilities. Dutchess County has since taken numerous steps to “ThinkDIFFERENTLY,” including holding events to provide those living in the I/DD community access to inclusivity while obtaining information and resources available to them.

In his 2023 Executive Budget, which he will release on November 1st, County Executive Molinaro includes new ThinkDIFFERENTLY initiatives as part of the forthcoming ThinkDIFFERENTLY All Abilities Action Plan.

To learn more about how to ThinkDIFFERENTLY, visit