Sensory Friendly Performances
Wharton Center, in collaboration with a variety of MSU and community entities, is creating an initiative to provide a supportive and welcoming environment that will make live theatre accessible to those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), developmental disabilities, Sensory Processing Disorder, other sensory-sensitive people and their families.
What are Sensory-Friendly Performances?
At Sensory-Friendly Performances, accommodations will include:
- Online and printed guidance materials about the show experience that portray the theatre-going experience visually as well as with text (i.e., Social Narratives).
- Character description cards.
- Lower sound and light levels; all strobe light affects removed.
- House lights on at a low level throughout the performance.
- Standing and movement spaces throughout the theater.
- Designated quiet areas throughout the theater.
- Trained volunteers and professionals on hand during the entire performance.
- Sensory supports (fidgets, earplugs, noise-cancelling head phones) available in the lobby. Patrons are welcome to bring their own.
- Audience members will be welcome to bring their own manipulatives (e.g., blocks), seat cushions, comfort objects, headphones, electronics, and extra support items to the show.
For more information on sensory-friendly performances visit https://www.whartoncenter.com/plan-your-visit/accessibility/sensory-friendly-performances
Seats 4 Kids
Seats 4 Kids is a scholarship fund established by Wharton Center to provide free tickets to local youth who could not otherwise afford to attend a performing arts event. Contributions provide tickets to economically–disadvantaged children through local community service organizations and Title 1 schools.
The Abrams Planetarium will also begin offering sensory friendly shows in the fall of 2017.
For more information on this fund, visit https://www.whartoncenter.com/support/seats-4-kids
The 4th Wall Theatre Company
The 4th wall theatre company also provides children with developmental dissabilities the opportunity to get envolved with theatre. This program empowers these children to explore the world of theatre. Visit https://4thwallkids.com/ for more information. Also visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIt7IyB0CPo&list=PLMUE32szES-KQCN7Coq6-j... to watch a video about the 4th wall theatre company.