TDF Announces Season of Autism-Friendly Performances; WICKED, HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, and More

TDF today announced its ninth season of autism-friendly performances of Broadway shows for families with children and adults on the autism-spectrum and other developmental disabilities.

The five-show season begins on Sunday, September 29 at 1pm with an autism-friendly performance of Disney's THE LION KING at the Minskoff Theatre and continues with: Disney's FROZEN (Sunday, November 17 at 1pm at the St. James Theatre), WICKED (Sunday, February 2, 2020 at 1pm at the Gershwin Theatre) and HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD (Sunday, March 1, 2019 at 1pm for Part One and 6:30 for Part Two at the Lyric Theatre), and Disney's ALADDIN (Sunday, May 3, 2020 at 1pm at the New Amsterdam Theatre). This will be the first time HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD will welcome an autism-friendly performance on Broadway.

Tickets to these special performances generally go on sale 6-8 weeks before the performance. Learn more about TDF's Autism-Friendly performances and sign up to receive notifications on how and when to purchase tickets at Tickets to these special performances are sold only through TDF's website.

"We're grateful to everyone involved in these productions for helping us provide this service to this underserved audience and help us provide an experience for families that is often life-changing," said Victoria Bailey, TDF's Executive Director. "A special thanks to our funders, who like us, believe that the arts are for everyone. They make it possible for us to provide several hundred free tickets for each performance to families with children on the spectrum, who could not afford even discounted tickets."

"The energy in the theatre is electric at the autism-friendly performances," said Lisa Carling, TDF's Director of Accessibility Programs. "You can feel the love. It comes from an audience knowing they are free to be themselves enjoying the show, and actors who embrace the opportunity to share it with them. We're excited to have such a fantastic lineup of productions to mark our ninth year!"

TDF Autism-Friendly Performances Program was founded in 2011 and operates under the umbrella of TDF's Accessibility Programs. To create an autism-friendly setting, 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 production, where possible, will include reduction of any jarring sounds or strobe lights focused into the audience. In the theatre lobby, there will be staffed break areas, if anyone needs to leave their seats during the performance. For these autism-friendly performances, TDF purchases every seat in the theatre and makes tickets available, at discount prices, exclusively to families, groups, schools, etc. whose members include individuals on the autism.

In addition to the shows being presented this season, TDF has presented autism-friendly performances of these Broadway productions since 2011: Cats, Come from Away, Elf: The Musical, Kinky Boots, Mary Poppins, Matilda, My Fair Lady, Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The King and I, The Phantom of the Opera and Wicked.

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