Going to see a Broadway show is exciting experience for anyone – kid or adult. But for people on the autism spectrum, attending theater performances and other public events can be challenging, if not impossible.
That’s where the Autism Theatre Initiative, a program run by the Theatre Development Fund (TDF) comes in. The group has sponsored specially modified performances of The Lion King, Mary Poppins, and Elf on Broadway -- and recently announced that Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark would also be holding an autism-friendly performance in April.
We hear more how theatre can be adapted to meet the needs of those with autism from Lisa Carling, who runs the Theatre Development Fund’s accessibility programs – and Donia Fahim, co-founder of the organization Autism Friendly Spaces. Plus, actor Derrick Davis, a member of The Lion King Broadway cast, joins us to share his experience as part of an autism-friendly performance.
(Photos: Top: A shot of the crowd at an autism-friendly performance of The Lion King. Bottom: Audience members take a break in an "activity zone" at an autism-friendly performance of The Lion King. Credit: TDF/Autism Theatre Initiative)