Off-Broadway Theater Offers Sensory-Friendly Shows All Season
The New Victory Theater, New York City’s premier performing arts venue dedicated to bringing kids to the arts and the arts to kids, will host a series of autism-friendly performances throughout the 2015-16 season. By offering multiple shows at low ticket prices throughout the season, The New Victory hopes to encourage regular theatergoing for families who desire a relaxed environment for individuals with autism or sensory sensitivity.
In consultation with Autism Friendly Spaces, Inc., select performances of The Gruffalo, Pedal Punk, The Velveteen Rabbit and Caps for Sale the Musical will be modified to accommodate and support the sensory, social and emotional needs of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder:
Tall Stories’ The Gruffalo from London, England
- Sunday, October 18, 2015 at 3:00pm
- For Ages 4-7, Theater, 55 minutes with no intermission
Cirque Mechanics’ Pedal Punk from Las Vegas, Nevada
- Sunday, December 20, 2015 at 5:00pm
- For Everyone 5+, Circus, 50 minutes with no intermission
Unicorn Theatre’s The Velveteen Rabbit from London, England
- Saturday, January 23, 2016 7:00pm
- For Everyone 6+, Theater, 90 minutes including one intermission
Adventure Theatre MTC’s Caps for Sale the Musical from Glen Echo, Maryland
- Sunday, February 28, 2016 11:00am
- For Ages 4-7, Musical Theater, 60 minutes with no intermission
In order to make the show more accessible to individuals on the autism spectrum and their families, modifications for autism-friendly performances include adjustments to the technical aspects of the show, quiet areas in the lobbies and specialized training for the Front of House staff and ushers; more specifically, New Vic performances will be adapted in the following ways:
- Sound in the production will be lowered and staff will warn of any upcoming loud noises during the show.
- Lights in the seating area will be dimmed rather than fully dark during the performance.
- A Relaxed Atmosphere allows patrons to talk and vocalize as they wish, as well as leave and re-enter the seating area as needed.
- An Activity Area will be available with a live video feed of the show, coloring sheets and fidget toys if patrons need to take a break from the seating area.
- A Calming Corner will be available with fidget toys and bean bag chairs if patrons need a quiet place to relax.
- Autism Specialists will be available throughout the performance to provide assistance as requested or needed.
- A Family Restroom (gender-neutral) will be designated.
- Online Resources, such as social narrative and character guides, will be available to help prepare audiences in advance of attending the shows.
Additionally, families who have never been to The New Victory Theater are invited to “meet their seat” in advance of each performance and explore the lobbies and seating areas. Interested families should call 646.223.3023 to arrange for a time.
Through these services, The New Victory looks forward to welcoming families with kids on the autism spectrum to return to the theater again and again to enjoy world-class performing arts together. Visit the New Victory website to learn more about each autism-friendly performance along with all of the shows in the 2015-16 season.
General Ticket Information
For autism-friendly performances at The New Victory Theater, New Victory Member tickets are $17 and full price tickets are $25. Theatergoers who buy tickets for three or more New Victory shows qualify for free Membership, with benefits including 35% savings on tickets all season long and unlimited free ticket exchanges. Tickets are available online (NewVictory.org) and by telephone (646.223.3010). The New Victory Theater box office (209 West 42nd Street) will be open Sunday and Monday from 11am-5pm and Tuesday through Saturday from 12pm-7pm.