Sensory Friendly Performances:
An Interview with Vanessa Braun from the Cultural Trust and Lindsey Kaine from the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
Autism Connection asks: Can you describe the differences and similarities of a performance that an audience member may see at one of your shows?
First, we have a team of outside professional volunteers, doctors, teachers, nurses, people who know the audience and who can help if needed. We spread them out throughout the venue. Then in the lobby we set up at least one quiet space and one activity space. In these areas, people can either stop in to blow off some steam or alternatively come to have a moment of calm.
In the theater itself, we have the lights up to about a quarter of their regular brightness, this is so that people can feel free to get up and down if they need to throughout the show. We have ushers and theater staff to hand out fidgets.
We allow personal snacks and communications devices that you would not see at a typical show.
Production–what people see on the stage–is controlled by the touring show.
A few elements are softened or removed. So, the show takes out a bright flash of light or a sudden noise. The important thing is that the show stays true to itself.
Read the full interview on our blog.