The Theatre Development Fund (TDF), a nonprofit organization committed to making the theatre more accessible to different audiences, is providing a unique opportunity for individuals with autism and their families. The TDF is orchestrating the first-ever autism-friendly Broadway performance with a special showing of the Disney musical The Lion King. This special event will take place on Sunday, October 2 at the Minskoff Theatre in New York. All theatre seating for the matinee showing has been reserved strictly for individuals with autism and their families.
To support an autism-friendly environment, some changes have been made to the production. These include the elimination of startling sounds and strobe lights. In addition, quiet areas equipped with beanbag chairs, coloring books, and trained staff will be stationed in the theatre lobby for those who need a break from the performance. The TDF also provides a downloadable social story that illustrates what members of the audience can expect during their trip to the theatre.
When I was a kid, my mom took me to see The Lion King and to this day it remains to be one of my favorite plays. The extraordinary costumes and set designs make The Lion King, in my opinion, a real must-see. I am glad individuals with autism have an opportunity to experience this remarkable play in an environment that better accommodates their needs.
For more information about the autism-friendly Broadway showing of The Lion King, click here.