More Autism-Friendly Shows Coming to Broadway in 2012

 
on February 08 2012 5:04 PM
The Lion King
The Theatre Development Fund is putting on two autism-friendly shows this year of the Broadway hits "The Lion King" and "Mary Poppins" as part of its Autism Theater Initiative. Reuters

Two Broadway shows are slated for autism-friendly productions in 2012 in New York City.

The performances will include autism-friendly versions of Mary Poppins (April 29 at the New Amsterdam Theatre) and The Lion King (Sept. 30 at the Minskoff Theatre).

The shows are part of the Theatre Development Fund's Autism Theater Initiative. TDF showed an autism-friendly version of The Lion King in October.

To have an autism-friendly theater that is a totally safe place for a family to be with their child with autism, nothing could be better, Autism Speaks President Mark Roithmayr told NBC News last year in a segment about that show.

Now TDF wants plans to follow up on the success.

The pilot autism-friendly performance of 'The Lion King' was successful beyond our greatest expectations, TDF Executive Director Victoria Bailey said in a statement. It was tremendously emotional watching families experience live theatre together for the first time in an environment that was safe and supportive.

As autism awareness grows, autism-friendly venues and events are gaining attention including autism-friendly movie screenings and restaurant nights for families with members who have autism.

In this case, having an autism-friendly production means making some major tweaks to established shows. These tweaks include adjusting sounds and controlling certain lighting features, according to a TDF statement.

And what goes on outside of the auditorium is just as important -- part of the production is providing quiet areas in the lobby, per the TDF.

Tickets to the upcoming autism-friendly shows must be purchased through TDF.

Tickets to The Lion King are expected to be sold soon. Tickets to Mary Poppins are currently on sale and almost sold out, per a TDF spokesman. Those who are interested in buying tickets to The Lion King should sign up for ticket sale information here.

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