First Autism Friendly Broadway Show
A few weeks ago we talked about a new program aimed at offering Autism-Friendly Movie Showings in the UK. The Theatre Development Fund (TDF) is following suit by offering Autism Friendly Broadway shows for children and adults who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The new program, called the Autism Theatre Initiative, will begin with a performance of The Lion King on October 2nd, 2011 at 1pm. According to their website, the show will feature,
“a friendly, supportive environment for an audience of families and friends with children or adults who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or other sensitivity issues. Slight adjustments to the production will include reduction of any jarring sounds or strobe lights focused into the audience. In the theatre lobby there will be staffed quiet areas, if anyone needs to leave their seats during the performance.”
Unfortunately, this performance is sold out, however due to the overwhelming response and clear interest in such a performance, the TDF has said it will consider organizing similar performances in the future.
According to an interview with the director of the TDF’s accessibility programs, Disney was fully on board with a performance of this nature and the modifications that needed to be made in order to give the audience the appropriate viewing experience. The changes are slight and the show is by no means altered because of these minor adjustments to the sound and lighting. The audience will still experience The Lion King in its entirety but at a level that is more accommodating to children and adults who may suffer from sensitivity to sound and light.