Company Of Fools Presents First-Ever “Sensory-Friendly” Performance

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Company Of Fools Presents First-Ever “Sensory-Friendly” Performance

Company of Fools (COF) is delighted to announce its first-ever "sensory-friendly" theatre performance-an "invited dress rehearsal" of the charming holiday show Miss Bennet: Christmas At Pemberley. The Monday, Dec. 9, performance is specially designed to accommodate audiences with autism spectrum disorders or sensitivity issues. The performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Liberty Theatre in Hailey.

As part of its commitment to ensuring access to the transformative power of theatre for all audiences, COF has partnered with Theatre Development Fund's National Autism-Friendly Theatre Network to provide a special autism-friendly performance of its holiday production. Miss Bennet: Christmas At Pemberley is a warm, delightful reimagined sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Filled with Austen's trademark English charm, the show lasts approximately two hours with one 15-minute intermission. The performance is appropriate for guests who are 10 and over.

"The Fools are so honored to have joined TDF's Autism-Friendly Theatre Network, and we're the first theatre in Idaho to join this prestigious program," said Scott Palmer, Producing Artistic Director at COF. "With TDF's help, we hope to become known as an inviting, safe, and friendly space for patrons with autism spectrum disorders or sensitivity issues to enjoy performing arts."

Autism-friendly theatre performances provide guests with autism spectrum disorders and other sensitivity issues the opportunity to enjoy live theatre in a welcoming and appropriate environment. This means that the lobby of the Liberty Theatre will have "quiet spaces" with plush toys and mats for audience members who may experience overstimulation during the performance. The performance itself will take place with the house lights up, no blackouts between scenes, no strobes or other flashing lights and modified sound effects and music. "Relaxed theatre rules" will be in effect so that patrons may leave and return to the performance at any time. Character guides and social narrative documents will also be available for family members and caregivers to use before attending the performance.

"Over the past few months, the Fools have been focused on making sure everyone in the Valley has the chance to enjoy our work at The Liberty," continued Palmer. "In addition to installing a new assisted listening system for our hearing-impaired patrons, we've started a new 'Parent and Baby' performance program that helps ensure new parents can also enjoy live theatre. Our sensory-friendly performances are the next step in our efforts to give everyone access to the life-changing experiences of live theatre."

This special performance of Miss Bennet: Christmas At Pemberley is free, but donations in support of the theatre are gratefully accepted. The Company considers this performance an "invited dress rehearsal," so patrons planning to attend the show are encouraged to contact Company Manager Kris Olenick (kolenick@sunvalleycenter.org) in advance to confirm their seats.

For other questions about sensory-friendly performances at the Liberty Theatre, please contact COF's Producing Artistic Director Scott Palmer at spalmer@sunvalleycenter.org.

For more information on this program or upcoming programs, please contact the Sun Valley Center for the Arts at 208.726.9491, information@sunvalleycenter.org, or visit our website sunvalleycenter.org.



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