Sensory-Friendly Entertainment Coming To Broadway
Autism-friendly screenings have become a staple at movie theaters in recent years. Now a nonprofit group is taking the concept to Broadway.
The Theatre Development Fund — which works to make theater accessible to all — said Wednesday it will host an autism-friendly performance of Disney’s “The Lion King” Oct. 2 at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre as part of a pilot initiative.
The special show will feature adjustments to accommodate sensory issues that audience members may have. Specifically, the cast is working to minimize surprise noises and the use of strobe lights.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
During the performance, the theater will be staffed by autism experts and feature designated “quiet areas” for anyone who needs a break, organizers said.
What’s more, the group is offering a downloadable social story to prepare theatergoers for the experience.
The autism-friendly performance will mark a first for Broadway.
“Our goal is to be as inclusive as possible, welcoming families with children and adults on the autism spectrum,” said Lisa Carling, director of accessibility programs at the Theatre Development Fund. “No judgments — just united support in making the theater experience as enjoyable as possible for its audience.”
Tickets for the show are nearly sold out after word spread through New York-area schools and autism groups. If successful, however, there could be more to come, organizers said.