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County to Host Sensory-Friendly Performance of ‘The Nutcracker’ at Bardavon 1869 Opera House
Free ThinkDIFFERENTLY event on Dec. 13th celebrates holiday classic

Published: 11/18/2019

For More Information Contact:

Colleen Pillus, (845) 486-2000

Poughkeepsie … County Executive Marc Molinaro invites residents with disabilities, their families and caregivers to a free, hour-long, sensory-sensitive performance of the holiday classic ballet, “The Nutcracker,” at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie on Friday, December 13th, starting at 6 p.m. 

During this no-hush performance, presented by the New Paltz Ballet Theatre, the Bardavon will adjust both the lighting and sound to make the experience more enjoyable for those on the autism spectrum or who experience sensory issues. Seating is limited for this free event, and reservations are required online at

County Executive Molinaro said, “The holiday season is a time to reflect with gratitude for our blessings, and Dutchess County has indeed been blessed with a plethora of businesses and organizations that ThinkDIFFERENTLY about individuals with disabilities. We are excited to partner with the Bardavon to offer our latest event, a sensory-sensitive performance of ‘The Nutcracker,’ providing people of all abilities an enjoyable and stress-free evening of holiday fun.”

Established in 2015, the “ThinkDIFFERENTLY” initiative seeks to change the way individuals, businesses, organizations and communities relate to individuals with special needs. Following Dutchess County’s example, more than 100 municipalities throughout New York State and beyond have passed “ThinkDIFFERENTLY” resolutions, committing to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for individuals of all abilities.

Bardavon Executive Director Chris Silva said, “We are proud to collaborate with Dutchess County and be part of the ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY’ movement, bringing the excitement and wonder of this holiday classic to residents of every ability. We look forward to welcoming theatergoers for an enjoyable, worry-free evening of ballet, helping them make memories they’ll long cherish.”

More information about Dutchess County’s efforts to “ThinkDIFFERENTLY,” as well as a calendar of upcoming inclusive events throughout the County, is available at the award-winning website, The website offers simple navigation through the comprehensive array of local services available to residents with special needs and their families, and it connects families to resources, information and community events to enhance the lives of individuals of every ability.