Trinity Rep Announces its 2018-19 Sensory Friendly Series
In support of its commitment to theater for all, Trinity Repertory Company announces a series of moderately-adjusted performances of shows in the 2018-19 Season to meet the needs of audience members with autism and/or with sensory-processing disorders. Sensory-friendly performances will be identical to other performances of the run, but will feature a lantern placed discretely in the theater to let patrons know when a loud sound or intense lighting cue (such as strobe lights) is about to play, giving them the chance to close their eyes or block their ears. Tickets to Trinity Rep's sensory-friendly performances can be purchased as a subscription starting at $114 for all six plays or starting at $25 for single productions. Subscriptions are available now and non-subscription tickets will go on sale August 14, 2018.
The Sensory-Friendly Series includes the following performances:
Pride and Prejudice on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 7:30 pm
black odyssey on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Macbeth on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 7:30 pm
The Song of Summer on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Little Shop of Horrors on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Marisol on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 7:30 pm
In addition to a warning lantern before intense sound and light effects, sensory-friendly performances will offer trained ushers in the audience to offer assistance, a social story and plot synopsis sent in advance, and a safe space in the lobby for patrons to return to if they need a break from the performance.
This is the second year that Trinity Rep has offered a sensory-friendly subscription series option, which is part of the organization's commitment to inclusivity and accessibility. In the first year, Trinity Rep worked with key partners including Spectrum Theater Ensemble, a local theater group committed to working with artists on and off the autism spectrum, to lay the foundation for the program. In the second year, the focus will be on increasing awareness of the performances and growing the audience.
The sensory-friendly performances next season build on the popular sensory-friendly performance of A Christmas Carol that Trinity Rep has offered for each of the past four years. Now re-titled Sensory-Friendly Plus! to indicate the nature of a sensory-friendly plus family-friendly performance, Trinity Rep will continue to offer a special performance of the holiday classic which will be a lights-on performance, inviting patrons to make sounds, enter and exit as needed and enjoy the tradition with their family and community. This year's Sensory-Friendly Plus! performance of A Christmas Carol will be on Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 12:00 pm. Trinity Rep will also offer a Sensory-Friendly Plus! performance of Little Shop of Horrors on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 2:00 pm.
In addition to the sensory-friendly performances, Trinity Rep's accessibility commitment extends to the addition of two open captioned performances for each subscription series production, tripling the number of options available to those with hearing loss. Trinity Rep also offers accessible seating and assistive listening devices at every performance. For more information about Trinity Rep's accessibility programs, visit www.trinityrep.com.
Trinity Rep Director of Education Jordan Butterfield says, "We had a fantastic sensory friendly season last year, and existing subscribers seemed very supportive of this new offering. The warning lights and list of potential triggers were helpful for those who needed it but was non-intrusive for those who wanted to keep the shows spoiler-free. This is all part of a planned initiative to break down barriers for entry and make Trinity Rep as inclusive as possible for all people."
Daniel Perkins, front of house assistant and member of Spectrum Theater Ensemble, which partnered with Trinity Rep on the 2017-18 Season of sensory-friendly programming, said of this past season: "The first year of our Sensory Friendly Initiative was a great way to offer a neurodiverse audience the opportunity to see every show of the 2017-18 season. I was thrilled to see new neurodiverse audience members experience going to the theatre like everyone else, but with accommodations to make the audience comfortable." He continues by saying, "It really moves me to see the sensory-friendly performance move so many patrons."
Rhode Island's Tony Award-winning theater, Trinity Rep has created unparalleled professional theater for and with its community since its founding in 1963. Trinity Rep strives to facilitate human connection and has been a driving force behind the creativity that fuels and defines the region for more than 50 years.
Trinity Rep is committed to reinventing the public square and inspiring dialogue by creating emotionally-stimulating live productions that range from classical to contemporary and innovative education programs for all ages and abilities. Its annual production of A Christmas Carol has brought families together for 41 years and made memories for over a million audience members.
Subscriptions for the 2018-19 Season are now on sale. The season includes Pride and Prejudice by Kate Hamill, black odyssey by Marcus Gardley, a special limited-engagement of An Iliad by Lisa Peterson and Denis O'Hare, Macbeth by William Shakespeare, The Song of Summer by Lauren Yee, Little Shop of Horrors with book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken, and José Rivera's Marisol.
For more information on our 2018-19 season, call the box office at (401) 351-4242 or visit Trinity Rep's website at www.TrinityRep.com.