'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' Holding Special Performance for Kids with Autism
In April, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark will be showing a special performance for children with autism. The event will take place during Autism Awareness Month.
The show is being organized by Theatre Development Fund, a non-profit organization that seeks to make the theater available to all. According to the BBC, the show was chosen because of a poll that the organization took, asking parents to reveal which show they would most like to experience with their children. The musical was the winner.
The Theatre Development Fund has bought all of the tickets for the matinee performance on April 27. They are selling all of them at the Foxwoods Theatre at a discounted price of $35 to $80. Normally, the ticket prices for the show range from $49 to $135.
The performance will be made with certain tweaks to accommodate the special needs of some children with autism spectrum disorder. The Associated Press reports that some of these slight changes include the elimination of jarring sounds and strobe lights. The theatre will also put in place quiet and activity areas, which will contain items like beanbag chairs and coloring books, for any children who may feel overwhelmed. The lobby will also be staffed with autism experts to help.
"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," Theatre Development Fund executive director Victoria Bailey said to BBC. "We could never do this without the co-operation of everyone involved in the productions from the producers to the ushers."
The performance will be the fifth for the fund's autism series. Previous shows included on the program were two shows for "The Lion King," "Mary Poppins" and "Elf: The Musical".
Tickets for the show go on sale today.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1 in 88 people have autism spectrum disorder. The condition, marked by difficulty with social cues, can range from mild symptoms to severe ones. Children affected by the condition may have difficulty with loud noises and bright lights, and may have trouble sitting still or remaining silent. Researchers do not yet conclusively know the cause of the disorder.