Wharton Center to offer sensory-friendly performances

Posted at 8:25 AM, Sep 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-13 08:29:22-04

Wharton Center, in collaboration with a variety of MSU and community partners, 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, and other sensory-sensitive people and their families. 

What are Sensory-Friendly Performances?

At Sensory-Friendly Performances, accommodations will include:

  • Lower sound and light levels; all strobe light effects removed.
  • House lights on at a low level throughout the performance.
  • Standing and movement spaces as well as designated quiet areas throughout the theater.
  • Trained volunteers and autism specialists on hand during the entire performance.
  • Sensory supports (fidgets, earplugs, noise-cancelling head phones) available in the lobby.
  • A Social Story that portrays the theatre-going experience with pictures and text.
  • Character description cards with pictures identifying each character in the show.
  • Audience members welcome to bring their own manipulatives, seat cushions, comfort objects, headphones, electronics, and other support items to the show.

Our 2017-2018 Sensory-Friendly Performances include:

  • Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat on Sunday, October 29 at 1pm
  • Clementine on Sunday, March 25 at 1pm
  • Disney’s The Lion King on Saturday, July 21 at 2pm 

Tickets can be purchased online, in person at the Ticket Office, or by calling 1-800-WHARTON (1-800-942-7866).