SENSORY FRIENDLY PROGRAMMING
As a leader in Sensory Friendly programming, Stages Theatre Company offers a variety of options to help make theatre accessible to everyone.
We provide a full schedule of Sensory Friendly performances of our main stage productions.
WHAT IS A SENSORY FRIENDLY PERFORMANCE?
Sensory-friendly performances are designed for children on the autism spectrum, or others with sensory sensitivities. House lights will be on and sound levels will be lowered, and crowds are minimized for these for these judgement-free, “shush-free” performances.
See a complete list of UPCOMING SENSORY FRIENDLY PERFORMANCES
Tickets are not available online, and can only be purchased at by phone at (952) 979-1111, option 4, or at the Box Office. Getting ready for your visit: SENSORY FRIENDLY GUIDE TO STAGES THEATRE COMPANY Please ask for discount at the time reservation is made. To reserve call (952) 979-1111, option 4 (Tuesday – Saturday from noon to 6 pm)
PROVIDING SENSORY FRIENDLY PERFORMANCES SINCE 2012
Learn what goes into our recipe!
Stages Theatre Company started producing Sensory-Friendly theatre in 2012 with their dance inspired performance, Owl Moon. Since then, STC has grown their sensory-friendlyproductions from one show a season, to ten sensory-friendlyproduction in their 2016-17season. Depending on where you go, each theatre company that offers sensory-friendly performances does it a little differently; however, at the core, each company provides the basic same services. Here, you will understand the process of how Stages Theatre Company dishes up sensory-friendly so the whole family can enjoy!
- 1 script: preferably 45 – 50 minutes in length
- An audience: no more than 100 people
- House Lights: at 25%-50%
- Sound Cues: lowered from original volume
- Audience guides
- Quiet Space
First we have a script. Our sensory-friendly performances are made into sensory-friendly performances from pre-existing material, a performance doesn’t start as sensory-friendly. Once the performance has been rehearsed, we then enhance and edit the design and performance elements to meet audience’s needs.
Before the audience arrives at the theatre, an audience guide is provided. This guide goes over what the theatre looks like, and the process of coming to the theatre from parking, getting tickets, findings your seat, and up through end of the show.
We have found that a sensory-friendly production works best when the performance lasts between 45-50 minutes, and the house audience is limited to 100. Sometimes, not always, students express their reactions to the performance they are experiencing by moving around. When the audience is limited to 100 patrons, this leaves plenty of space for student to move if they need to. Also, if someone in the audience doesn’t want to sit in a crowd, having a smaller sized audience is beneficial.
In a typical performance, the house lights are off, and there might be jarring light cues that happen throughout the performance. During a sensory-friendly performance, we keep the house lights at 25-50%, and jarring lights are removed. We do this also for sound cues and levels.
With all of the production elements inside the theatre enhanced, we then plan for factors outside the performance space. If an audience member doesn’t want to be in the theatre any more, a quiet space outside of the performance area is needed. This space is also sensory-friendly. As the audience walks into the theatre we also provide fidgets. Along with the fidgets, sound cancelling headphones are provided. Often times, the audience who sees our sensory-friendly performances take the story very literally. A plot guide is provided to help explain what the audience is seeing. This can be accompanied by pictures of the performance to give visual cues as well.
Once all of these elements are put together, then a sensory-friendly performance can happen.
“Drama is very important in life: You have to come on with a bang. You never want to go out with a whimper. Everything can have drama if it’s done right. Even a pancake!” – Julia Child
Check out our C.A.S.T. Programming
For your spectacular actor!
CAST is an educational program by Stages Theatre Company dedicated to creating a safe, welcoming and comfortable environment for children affected by autism. Our goal is to foster self-expression, social engagement, creative exploration, perception development, and confidence in each of our students, no matter where they land on the spectrum.
During each session of CAST, students will also attend a Sensory-Friendly performance at Stages Theatre Company.