Really cool article about how the Broadway production of “The Lion King” put on a performance that was modified to accommodate the sensory needs of people with autism. Some of the comments by allistic people are, well, typically allistic, but the idea is awesome!
The company of “The Lion King” and a panel of autism experts collaborated on ways to slightly modify the show to make sure autistic children did not have negative reactions to loud or sudden sound or light cues. The volume in the opening number and other scenes, including the sound of a roar, was turned down. All strobe lights and lighting that panned into the house were cut. The sound and light reductions were done electronically so that neither the actors nor the orchestra had to tone down their performances…
Off stage, there were small activity and quiet areas were set up in the lobby for children who needed a break from the show. Volunteers from local autism organizations were on hand to offer assistance. Victor Irving, the Minskoff’s house manager, said he asked the pedicab drivers who park outside the Minskoff to refrain from ringing their bike bells.
Although, I do have to say that I wish this were not “news” and just a normal part of what theaters do to make performances accessible to people with autism. There is obviously a demand. Why aren’t people out there filling it?