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'How to Dance in Ohio', which originated in Syracuse, to close on Broadway

Ashley Wool (center) and the cast of How to Dance in Ohio
Curtis Brown
How to Dance in Ohio
Ashley Wool (center) and the cast of How to Dance in Ohio

Broadway musical How to Dance in Ohio, which premiered at Syracuse Stage in Fall 2022, announced it will be closing. The musical will have its last performance on Feb. 11, 2024.

The show centered on seven autistic young adults preparing for their first spring formal. It broke new ground in the theatre industry as all seven characters were portrayed by autistic actors. The show was also designed to be inherently sensory-friendly to aim to invite all audiences into the theater.

P3 Productions which consists of Syracuse University alums Ben Holtzman and Sammy Lopez as well as Fiona Howe Rudin served as producers on the project.

"Developing new work is always a risk, but producing this show was an endeavor we eagerly accepted,” the producers said in a statement. “We're incredibly proud that this original, joyful, and life-affirming musical has deeply moved countless audience members at the Belasco Theatre and beyond. Broadway has been changed forever because of How to Dance in Ohio and all the artists involved. We look forward to seeing its legacy continue in new and exciting ways."

Holtzman spoke with WRVO in December and mentioned the challenges of producing in the current Broadway climate.

"I think that there's nothing more transformative than experiencing a story in a theater collectively, with a group of people," Holtzman said. "Being in a room viscerally with other people and other experiences is the most profound way to feel changed by storytelling. I believe so wholeheartedly in that and that's why I produce theater. But doing something new is really hard and doing something new in what's arguably the most difficult climate for Broadway shows ever is exponentially harder. It's really a balance of like standing in the pride for that moment in what we're doing, while also keeping my foot on the paddle and fighting the good fight."

The show will have played 27 previews and 72 regular performances when it closes at the Belasco Theater. The production saw 45 people make their Broadway debut.

The show recently released a cast album January 19 which is available on all streaming platforms.

Ava Pukatch joined the WRVO news team in September 2022. She previously reported for WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC and earned a degree in Journalism and Media from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Ava was a Stembler Scholar and a reporter and producer for the award-winning UNC Hussman broadcast Carolina Connection. In her free time, Ava enjoys theatre, coffee and cheering on Tar Heel sports. Find her on Twitter @apukatch.