Shakespeare & Company is opening its doors to those with sensory issues—including people on the autism spectrum, those living with cognitive, social, or physical challenges, first-time theatregoers, and others—in March with its first-ever sensory friendly performance.
The March 25 matinee of the Northeast Regional Tour of Romeo and Juliet will be staged with less intense lighting and sound effects, dimmed house lights rather than true darkness, special pre-show materials (including synopses, theatre maps, and content to explain what to expect), and an opportunity to visit the theatre the day prior to allow attendees to become comfortable with the space.
Directed by Kevin G. Coleman, the sensory-friendly performance will be staged at the Tina Packer Playhouse in Lenox, Massachusetts. The hope is to adopt a number of these practices to implement more sensory friendly performances in the future.
The Northeast Regional Tour of Romeo and Juliet is part of Shakespeare in American Communities, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.
For more information, visit Shakespeare.org.