The first-ever “autism-friendly” performance of Broadway hit “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” is set for April and tickets go on sale today.
The normally special-effects-heavy show will be specially tailored for the audience’s needs with a reduction of jarring sounds, strobe lights and other effects. The theater lobby will also feature designated quiet and activity areas staffed with autism experts, in case anyone needs a break during the performance.
Tickets are available to families whose members include people on the autism spectrum.
The Theatre Development Fund (TDF), a nonprofit organization that encourages and provides access to theater, bought all of the tickets for the April 27 show as part of its Autism Theater Initiative.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to share our production with those affected by autism,” “Spider-Man” producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah Harris said in a news release. “Part of our mission is to serve our community, and we are grateful to TDF for partnering with us on this initiative.”
This is the fifth autism-friendly initiative by TDF. The first show to participate was “The Lion King,” which has since done a second participating performance. “Mary Poppins” and “Elf” have also done these special shows. The initiative is also spread across the country, with TDF advising on similar experiences in Houston, San Diego and other cities.
“When we piloted this program we had a sense that there was a large audience of families in need of this service,” Victoria Bailey, TDF’s executive director, wrote in a statement. “After the first performance it was clear that our presumption was true. Watching families experience live theatre together for the first time in an environment that was safe and supportive is a truly emotional and gratifying experience.”
The performance is scheduled for Saturday, April 27, and tickets can be purchased through the TDF website.Tickets range from $35-$80.