Sensory-Friendly Performances at Greater Boston Stage Company
Tiny Tim's Christmas Carol • 2pm, December 15, 2018
Greater Boston Stage Company is committed to fostering an inclusive and accessible environment for all. We are excited to announce that we are producing our first ever sensory-friendly performance!
The sensory-friendly production of Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol will be a modified performance to create a more welcoming space for individuals with sensory-input disorders. There will be modifications throughout the theatre that create a friendly and supportive environment, encouraging patrons to experience the magic of theatre in their own way. Families, friends and caregivers of individuals with sensory-input disorders are also encouraged to attend.
To provide a safe and accepting environment for all patrons, this sensory-friendly performance will include the following modifications:
Read a great article here by WBUR's The ARTery about our Sensory-Friendly performances.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. What is a sensory-friendly performance?
A. A sensory-friendly performance is a live theatre production for individuals with a variety of sensory input disorders. Our sensory-friendly performance will be accessible to people with autism spectrum disorder, those who have anxiety, or other cognitive abilities. GBSC staff and performers have carefully modified the performance with this audience in mind. The majority of sensory-friendly adaptations occur in the audience, lobby and front of house as opposed to on the stage.
Q. How has the sensory-friendly performance been modified?
A. During the sensory-friendly performance, patrons can move, stand, make noise, talk, enter and exit the theatre as needed, eat, and use personal sensory tools throughout the performance. The overall sound level will be lowered, the house lights will remain slightly illuminated, and glow sticks will be used at the front of the stage to signal potentially startling moments. GBSC has created several pre-show resources that are available to all attending patrons to prepare them for the sensory-friendly performance. GBSC will make numerous other subtle modifications to help make everyone feel as comfortable as possible during the performance. There will be a quiet break area outside of the theatre for patrons to use as needed. Additionally, trained GBSC staff and volunteers will be available throughout the building to accommodate the needs of this specific population. There is no expectation that the audience will be silent during the performance. It will be a completely judgment-free zone!
Q. Can anyone attend a sensory-friendly performance?
A. Yes, all individuals are welcome as GBSC wishes to promote awareness and understanding that the arts are accessible to all. Please note that this performance caters to individuals with sensory-input disorders, their families and caretakers. The performance will be changed to fit their anticipated needs and the environment will be quite different than a regularly scheduled performance.
Q. What can I do to help someone with sensory input disorders prepare for this experience?
A. GBSC offers a number of pre-show resources to help people with sensory input disorders prepare to see the show. We are currently in the process of creating these materials. They will include a ”Know Before You Go” social story video, and a downloadable written social story which will become available in the coming weeks. Additionally, patrons are welcome to come to the theatre at 1:15 pm on the day of the show. Patrons will have the opportunity to meet friendly staff and cast members, see the seat in which they will be sitting, explore and adjust to the space, and touch replicas of the props that will be used in the performance.
Q. Will there be changes made to the script?
A. The script will not be altered.
Q. Are audience members allowed to bring sensory tools or other objects for support?
A. Yes, all patrons are encouraged to bring their own sensory tools, peanut-free edibles, manipulatives, seat cushions, comfort objects, headsets, earplugs, communication devices and extra support items to the performance.
Q. Can I use my cell phone or tablet during the performance?
A. Yes, for this sensory-friendly performance you are allowed to use your cell phone or tablet as we know these can be vital for communication and individual regulation. We kindly ask that they be put on silent or connected into headphones. Please note that taking pictures and recording of any kind is strictly prohibited.
Q. Can I leave the theatre and return afterward if needed?
A. Yes, you are welcome to leave your seat at any time. GBSC staff will be able to direct you wherever you need to go. There will be a quiet area and break area available. Please look for people with a glow stick around their neck and feel free to ask questions. These folks will be glad to help you return to your seat throughout the performance.
Q. How long is the show?
A. Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol runs approximately 60 minutes and is performed without an intermission.
Q. How can I purchase tickets?
A. Tickets can be purchased through our main Box Office at 781-279-2200.
Q. What is your refund policy?
A. Tickets to the sensory-friendly performance only are 100% refundable up until the show begins.
Q. Is this venue wheelchair accessible?
A. Yes. Please inform the Box Office (781-279-2200) of any mobility issues.
Q. Who can I contact with questions or concerns?
A. All questions or concerns regarding the sensory-friendly performance can be directed to our Inclusion Specialist, Erin Ronder Neves at firstname.lastname@example.org.