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CCAC South Campus Theatre to present the musical “Normal-C” on January 17 and 18

All proceeds benefit the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of Autism Speaks   

PITTSBURGH—The Community College of Allegheny County’s South Campus Theatre will present the new musical “Normal-C” on Friday, January 17, at 7:00 p.m. and on Saturday, January 18, at 3:00 and 7:00 p.m. The musical will be performed by the original cast of students from Baldwin High School, where it made its world debut in November. The compelling story centers around three special-needs teenagers who face a dilemma—do they sacrifice everything that makes them unique for a chance to be “normal?”

Written by playwright J.R. Hall of Castle Shannon with music and lyrics by Jason Coll of Bethel Park, the musical was commissioned by Beacon College in Leesburg, Florida. The college is the first accredited institution of higher learning designed with curriculum and support services to serve students with dyslexia, ADHD and other learning disabilities.

Hall, an adjunct instructor in theatre and speech at CCAC, drew upon his personal experience as the father of a daughter with ADHD and a son with non-verbal autism. His daughter had been watching documentaries with him and making “amazing observations” since she was four; however, when she entered first grade and had some difficulties, her teachers suggested that she be medicated.

“To me, it was a terrifying idea,” said Hall. “It made me realize that what makes her special could be taken away, and that is when I first came up with the idea for the story.”

A mutual friend of Hall and Coll with ties to Beacon College suggested they produce the play to celebrate the college’s 30th anniversary. Audiences at the first showings responded enthusiastically, and the cast from Baldwin High School is looking forward to performing the musical again, according to Hall.

George Jaber, CCAC Theatre professor and department head, wanted to bring the musical to CCAC because he believes it will challenge perceptions about what is normal, while raising funds to support individuals across the autism spectrum. “I think it’s important for people to see this new work,” said Jaber. “It’s very powerful.”

The play is appropriate for students in middle school and up, and the price of admission is a $10 minimum contribution to Autism Speaks. Because seating is limited, attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance at Parking is free.

CCAC South Campus is located at 1750 Clairton Road (Route 885), West Mifflin, PA 15122.