From an early age, fairy tales enter our lives and shape our view of the world. The classics like “Cinderella,” “Rapunzel” and “Beauty and the Beast” help to build literacy and expand our imagination. But young children aren’t the only…
Syracuse Stage Adds Sensory Friendly Performances to 2022-23 Season
In its commitment to better serve all of the Central New York community, Syracuse Stage has announced the addition of two sensory friendly performances to the 2022-23 season: “How to Dance in Ohio” on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m. and “Clue” on Saturday, June 24, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. A sensory friendly performance for “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” was already scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. Single tickets and a new sensory friendly subscription package are available now.
Sensory friendly performances are designed to welcome patrons who live with neurodiversity, such as autism or other sensory sensitivity needs, by creating a judgment-free atmosphere in the theater. During the performance, house lights will be dimmed but not turned out completely, patrons may move about as necessary for their comfort, and patrons will not be discouraged from vocalizing during the performance.
In addition, fidget toys and other materials will be provided for patrons. Trained support staff will be on hand to assist and quiet rooms and “cool down” spaces away from the theatre will be available.
Depending on the content and production elements, changes also may be made to the onstage performance. These could include modifying or eliminating some lighting and/or sound effects and editing content from scenes. These modifications will vary depending on the show.
“As a mother with a child with autism, this offering is such a blessing to have families experience theatre together,” says Joann Yarrow, director of community engagement and education for Syracuse Stage. “Over the years, my family and so many other families have come to appreciate not only the sensory accommodations made but even more so the welcoming and non-judgmental environment.”
Since 2016, Syracuse Stage has been offering a sensory friendly performance for the holiday musicals. The success of these performances over the past few seasons and the overwhelmingly positive patron response to them has encouraged Stage’s leadership to expand the service to include other shows in the season.
“After seeing how successful our sensory friendly series has been, we knew it would be important to continue to welcome families back this season who may not be comfortable attending a traditional performance,” says Robert Hupp, artistic director. “The joy and communal experience of live theatre is something that we want everyone to be able to enjoy. That’s why we expanded to three shows this year.”
All tickets for sensory friendly performances are $30 and may be returned or exchanged up to performance time. A sensory friendly subscription package that includes a ticket to each performance is also available for $90, allowing patrons to save on ticketing fees. Tickets and subscriptions may be purchased through the Box Office (315-443-3275) or at www.syracusestage.org, where information about all of Syracuse Stage’s accessibility programs is available.