Going to plays with SPD.

Some theater performances, and specific matinee movie showings are now specifically trying to cater to those with Sensory Processing Disorder.  Some of whom may be patrons with ADHD or Down Syndrome too. But, do you know how? And would there allowances and accommodations best suite you? Or inconvenience you?

   This means the following.

The lights are on

The volume is low or lower.

Standing up and making noise during the film or play is allowed. 

Leaving the theater early is permitted and so is exiting the seated area for a break. Before you return back to your seats.

Therefore, going to a sensory theater production is different. I for one, typically prefer the non sensory friendly versions ( most of the time). And yes, I’ve tried a sensory friendly play before. I only tried it for the experience and the play not cause I needed the accomodation that time.

However, one time I went to the normal viewing of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” on Broadway. The first play Broadway level play to my knowledge, focused on Asperger’s. It had a sensory friendly couple of performances too. And sadly my sensory issue with air conditioner seriously dampened my experience. The AC was on WAY TO High (Especially for the fall in NYC) . And I was SO cold. It put me to sleep through out a good amount of the show 🙁 .

In two or three other plays I’ve gone too none of which had sensory friendly performances. There was smoke used for effects/ 1/ more actor smoked cigarettes on stage. In all cases. The smoke made my SPD symptoms react. And I remember in 1 case I got light headed and nearly passed out. Theaters need to tell audiences even for regular performances when’s scents, fragrances, and smoke will be used in the production or cleaned areas of there theaters. Example; the ladies bathroom.

Which proves Sensory friendly accomodation differences need to be expanded upon. And also, companies and theaters need to be aware of ways to ALWAYS make their customers happy. Many NT’s commented to the ushers that they need to turn the AC down/ off. Prior to the play starting. Then some of the NT’s went home and back before the play started to get their down vests and fleeces. It was NOT even hot outside. Geez Louis !

Here’s a URL to a New York Times Article about the Sensory Friendly version of the play, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”. That came from a classic, best selling, book written buy an ASD author, who wrote under the same title, “The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-Time.”


Here’s an article from the NY Times about the Loin Kings Sensory friendly play on Broadway.


A few more more Sensory Friendly performances that you can verify on utube

The Big Apple Circus
The Nutcracker
The Blue Man Group in Las Vegas
Havana Hop, at Playhouse Square

This post is buy no means a complete list of Sensory friendly plays.


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