Tickets Now On Sale for Autism-Friendly Performance of DISNEY JUNIOR LIVE ON TOUR! PIRATE & PRINCESS ADVENTURE on 4/19
TDF's Autism Theater Initiative (ATI) announces that tickets are currently on sale for the first ever autism-friendly performance of Disney Junior Live On Tour! Pirate & Princess Adventure, on Saturday, April 19 at 11am at the Theater at Madison Square Garden (Seventh Avenue and 32nd Street, New York, NY). Tickets for this performance, which runs 90 minutes long with one 15 minute intermission, range from $32 to $69 each and are currently on sale exclusively at www.tdf.org/disneyjrliveontour.
With this April 19th performance of Disney Junior Live On Tour! Pirate & Princess Adventure, which takes place during Autism Awareness Month, TDF hopes to broaden the audience of families with children on the autism spectrum, as this show generally appeals to a younger audience than the Broadway shows ATI has thus far presented.
The Theater at Madison Square Garden is a large venue of about 5,000 seats, but even though TDF purchased the entire theatre for this autism-friendly performance, only 2,000 seats will be filled in order to help make the show feel as welcoming as possible.
"We're thrilled to partner with Feld Entertainment to be able to present our first autism-friendly show that is appropriate for younger children as well as their older siblings. It will also be great for families that prefer a shorter show than a traditional Broadway musical," said Victoria Bailey, TDF's Executive Director. "As with all of our TDF programs it is important that the widest spectrum of the community have access to tickets. We are gratified that we have received generous funding from The Joseph LeRoy and Ann C. Warner Fund, Inc., among other donors that allows us to distribute several hundred tickets, at no cost, to organizations that help low-income families with children and adults on the spectrum."
"Feld Entertainment is pleased to collaborate with Theatre Development Fund to entertain children and adults on the autism spectrum with a one-of-a-kind live experience featuring beloved Disney characters that is both enjoyable and welcoming for all," said Alana Feld, Executive Vice President, Feld Entertainment.
"With the feedback we get from the audiences, specialists working in the autism field, performers and theatre staff, we are constantly learning new ways to fine-tune the program," said Lisa Carling, TDF's Director of Accessibility Programs (TAP). "Our goal with the Autism Theatre Initiative remains to be as inclusive as possible, welcoming families with children and adults on the autism spectrum, including Asperger's syndrome, as well as other developmental disabilities, to enjoy the theatrical experience and to be assured that everyone involved with the production is united in making the show an unforgettable experience."
This performance, as well as this season's autism-friendly Broadway performances of Disney's The Lion King, SPIDER-MAN Turn Off the Dark and an upcoming sold-out performance of Wicked on March 2, illustrates TDF's commitment to presenting autism-friendly performances in New York City. TDF has also been consulting with other theatre organizations across the United States, to help them present their own autism-friendly performances.
In order to be "autism-friendly," the shows are performed in a friendly, supportive environment for an audience of families and friends with children or adults who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or other sensitivity issues. Slight adjustments to the productions include the elimination of strobe lights and the reduction of any jarring sounds or strobe lights focused into the audience. In the theatre lobby area there are designated quiet and activity areas, staffed with autism specialists and trained volunteers, if anyone needs to leave their seats during the performance. To get a clearer idea of what an autism-friendly performance is, here is a link to a feature on a performance of Mary Poppins from TDF Stages: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrb-opIcMWw.
For autism-friendly performances, TDF purchases every seat in the theatre for sale at discount prices to families whose members include individuals on the autism spectrum. Tickets to these special performances are sold only through TDF's website. TDF recommends that interested patrons sign up at www.tdf.org/autism to be notified when the future performances go on sale, as well as to be notified about the scheduling of future autism-friendly performances.