MSUToday
Published: Sept. 19, 2017

Wharton Center to offer sensory-friendly performances

Contact(s): Bob Hoffman Wharton Center office: (517) 884-3115 bob.hoffman@whartoncenter.com

Beginning with the 2017-2018 season, the Michigan State University Wharton Center for Performing Arts will offer several live theater productions that will include sensory-friendly performances for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder and other sensitivity issues.

“We know that for people with sensory sensitivities, attending a live theater production can be a minefield of potential challenges. Wharton Center’s mission is to make theater accessible to everyone,” said Mike Brand, Wharton Center executive director.

Sensory-friendly performances feature accommodations such as lower sound and light levels, activity spaces with trained volunteers and sensory supports such as earplugs and noise-cancelling headphones.

This season, the sensory-friendly performances include “Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat” at 1 p.m. Oct. 29, “Clementine” at 1 p.m. on March 25 and Disney’s “The Lion King” at 2 p.m. on July 21.

This program will extend beyond the 2017-2018 season.

“Ultimately, Wharton Center intends to create a sustainable program that will continue sensory-friendly offerings well into the foreseeable future,” said Diane Willcox, Wharton Center director of marketing and communications. “Our goal is to reach families and individuals affected by these issues and offer them a place in which they can feel welcome and comfortable.”

To learn more about the Wharton Center’s sensory-friendly performances or to support the program by making a gift to fund scholarship tickets, click here.

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