Strobe lights, loud music and other usual features of a live performance can make it impossible for kids and adults on the autism spectrum or with other sensitivity issues to enjoy.
So, in an effort to bring live theater to all, the Durham Performing Arts Center will stage its first sensory-friendly performance later this year when it presents "Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical."
Tickets go on sale at noon, July 23, for the show, which is scheduled for 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 3. The goal is to present the show in a tolerant and supportive environment for kids and adults who might not otherwise be able to attend a performance like this with their families. Tickets start at $30 (plus taxes and fees).
“This has been a passion project since my first day at DPAC,” said Tiffany Malory, DPAC's community relations manager in a press release. “The magic of live theater can impact lives and I am so proud that we’re able to extend that opportunity to all families with this performance.”
DPAC will make some slight adjustments to the production to reduce the number of loud noises and flashing lights that might be challenging for some audience members, the release says. Designated areas at DPAC also will make the experience more enjoyable for those with autism and other sensitivity issues.
- Sections of the lobby will serve as a quiet area for children that may need to leave their seat during the show.
- On-site volunteers will be on hand to assist families as needed when they arrive at DPAC and throughout the performance.
- Detailed instructions and character comparison hand-outs will be available to download for parents or caregivers to view and print at home that will outline in words and pictures the experience that families will undergo during their visit to DPAC and this show.
The Autism Society of North Carolina and the Theatre Development Fund's Autism Theatre Initiative helped DPAC plan for the special show.
DPAC's website has more information. Grinch runs Nov. 29 to Dec. 4.