The Theater Development Fund (TDF) recently celebrated its 50th anniversary at their gala held on June 18, 2018. Following this celebration, TDF announced its 2018-19 season of autism-friendly performances.
For these special performances, TDF purchases every seat in the theatre and makes tickets available exclusively to families, groups, schools, etc. whose members include individuals on the autism spectrum at discount prices.
All shows will be performed in a friendly and supportive environment for individuals with autism spectrum disorder or other sensitivity issues. The family and friends of these individuals are also welcomed.
The TDF Autism- friendly Performances Program was founded in 2011 and serves under TDF’s Accessibility Programs.These performances become autism- friendly after slight adjustments to the production. The adjustments include reduction of any harsh sounds or strobe and spot lights that shine into the audience. The house lights in the theater will be faintly dimmed but remain on throughout the whole performance.The break and lobby areas will be staffed with autism-trained specialists to assist those who need to leave their seats during the performance.
Downloadable social narratives (in Word format) with pictures of the theatres and productions are available in advance of the performances for all attendees. TDF also produced a video social narrative that describes how best to navigate Times Square.
The schedule for the 2018-19 autism-friendly shows is as follows:
- SpongeBob SquarePants the Broadway Musical, Sunday July 15, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. SOLD OUT!
- The Lion King, Sunday September 30, 2018 at 1:00 p.m.
- Frozen, Sunday November 4, 2018 at 1:00 p.m.
- Aladdin, Sunday March 3, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.
- My Fair Lady, Sunday May 5, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.
It is not necessary to become a TDF member in order to purchase tickets for these performances. There is no additional discount for being a TDF member. Individuals can sign up to get notifications about tickets for the TDF autism-friendly performances.
TDF is a not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts founded in 1968. TDF is dedicated to bringing the power of the performing arts to everyone. TDF’s mission is to sustain live theatre and dance by engaging and cultivating a broad and diverse audience and eliminating barriers to attendance. TDF fulfills its mission with a variety of programs that expand access, cultivate communities and support the makers of the performing arts.