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NYC: Broadway musical features 7 autistic characters preparing for a dance

Dec 7, 2023, The Hour: Autism is front and center in the pioneering new musical 'How to Dance in Ohio' on Broadway

Actor Haven Burton wasn't worried about what professional critics thought of her new musical “How to Dance in Ohio." Who she really wanted to hear from was her 11-year-old son, Hudson.

The show follows seven autistic characters as they prepare for a spring dance. After co-starring in a performance this fall, Burton asked her son what he thought. His opinion mattered not just because Mom is in it but also because he has autism.

“He said, ‘I loved it. It was amazing. I just I can’t believe that there are people who think like me,’” Burton recalled. “I thought, ‘This is why I am doing this. This is why this is so important.’”

“How to Dance in Ohio” opens on Broadway on Sunday both celebrating and starring those on the autism spectrum as well as opening a window about autism's highs and lows for the neurotypical.

“When we talk about this piece internally, we really view it as a piece of activism,” said Burton, whose Broadway credits include “Kinky Boots” and “Legally Blonde.” “There is entertainment and certainly commercial value, but at its very core, our values are to educate.”

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