Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre will present a sensory-friendly performance of its family-friendly, one-hour adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet” at 2 p.m. on July 2 in Reynolds Performance Hall on the University of Central Arkansas campus. The sensory-friendly performance is designed to provide an experience that is inviting to all individuals with sensory-processing deficits, including (but not limited to) those on the autism disorder spectrum and their families.
Audience members will be greeted by volunteers who will guide them and remain available throughout the duration of the performance to answer questions. Audience members will also have the opportunity to interact with therapy dogs (generously made possible by ABLEPaws) in the lobby before the show begins. There will be a designated calming zone near the performance area for individuals who may wish to leave the performance at any time.
Lighting modifications will be made, such as reduced bright lighting, and there will be low lighting on for the entirety of the performance. Auditory modifications will be made that include lower sound level during the performance and reduction of unexpected noises. Glow sticks will be raised as a forewarning for a loud surprise on stage, and there will be noise-reducing headphones available. On-stage seating will be on risers, with some seating available on the floor. There will be plenty of space available throughout the theatre for standing and moving, and exits will be clearly marked and accessible. Audience members who must leave the show will be permitted to return to their seats.
Crowds will be limited, as a reduced number of tickets will be on sale for this event. Volunteers and performers will be trained prior to the event in an effort to be inviting and accommodating to all who attend.
Accessible parking is available adjacent to Reynolds Performance Hall. Volunteers will be stationed in each parking lot to assist those with mobility impairments or anyone who may need help unloading vehicles.
More information, such as a sensory map, character guide and a social story will be available in mid-June. These items will be provided at arkshakes.com/accessibility.
If you have questions about any other accommodations or need assistance for another performance, please contact Mary Ruth Marotte at (501) 269-9428 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.