TDF’s Autism Theater Initiative (ATI) has announced that it will be presenting autism-friendly performances of Broadway shows in the coming year. These performances will be performed in a supportive environment for an audience made up of children and adults on the autism spectrum, as well as their friends and family. The productions themselves may include slight adjustments, such as the reduction of jarring sounds or disturbing lighting effects (such as strobe lights). The lobby of the theater will have designated quiet areas and activity areas, where autism experts will be on hand if any audience members feel the need to leave the theater during the performance.
“When we piloted this program we had a sense that there was a large audience of families in need of this service,” said Executive Director of TDF, Victoria Bailey. “After the first performance it was clear that our presumption was true. Watching families experience live theatre together for the first time in an environment that was safe and supportive is a truly emotional and gratifying experience.”
Four Broadway shows are currently scheduled to present autism-friendly performances in 2013: Elf, the Musical on Saturday, January 5 at 2pm; Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark on Saturday, April 27 at 2pm; The Lion King and Newsies on Fall 2013 dates to be determined. Tickets for the Elf performance are already on sale at www.tdf.org/elf.