For parents of children with autism, planning comfortable theatre experiences may be daunting. While many seasoned theatre goers are familiar with venue accessibility as far as wheelchair-friendly accommodations and adaptations for those with sight or vision impairments, modifications for visitors with autism or other disabilities that create sensory sensitivities is a more recent development.
Those on the autism spectrum may exhibit both over- and under-sensitivity to sensory stimulation—sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. According to the National Autistic Society, over stimulation could lead to a “meltdown”. Ballet North Texas’ goal is to create an enjoyable environment for patrons on the autism spectrum by implementing simple changes, such as preparing the individual for what to expect during a performance, reducing the amount of sensory stimulation, and relaxing certain expectations or rules, such as not talking during a performance, and having to stay seated.
Ballet North Texas' sensory friendly performances offer accommodations, striving to provide an environment that is nonjudgmental and supportive, coupled with performance modifications and changes in behavioral expectations. Patrons may freely respond to shows in their own way and without judgment, and are welcome to do things like sing or dance. A variety of other modifications help to provide a comfortable environment: pre-visit materials, omission of strobe lights and sudden loud noises, relaxed house rules, reduction of sound levels, and elimination of startling special effects. Specially trained staff, dancers, ushers, and volunteers are on-hand at these performances.
What makes this performance sensory friendly?
Reduced sound levels, especially loud and surprising noises
House lights will remaining half lit
Relaxed house rules…freedom to get up and move around, use of electronic devices is permitted, and permission to talk freely during the performance
Trained staff, ushers, and volunteers to assist patrons
Plan your Sensory Performance Experience
Run Time: Approximately 1- 1.5 hours
Theater lobby will open one hour prior to performance.
Winspear Opera House - Dallas, TX
June 5, 2021- 2:00pm
*Run time: 90 min.