Everyone should experience live theater in some certain way. The ones who should really experience it the most is people dealing with autism. Meet the youngest influence in Broadway history of them all, Harry Smolin. For those who may not know, Smolin and the Theatre Development Fund (TDF) collaborated together to create AUTISM FRIENDLY PERFORMANCES for many of the beloved Family Broadway shows.
It all began in 2011 with a performance of Disney’s Tony winning smash hit The Lion King – Musical and the tradition began. Shows that began giving autism from there included Mary Poppins – The Musical, Elf The Musical, Matilda The Musical on Broadway, WICKED The Musical, The Phantom of the Opera, and many more.
For each Broadway show that participates in doing an Autism Friendly performance, the crew teams up with an autism specialist and they figure out what scenes that are intense and scary (especially with wild strobe lights, loud bangs, or noises) should be toned down. Even some of the actors deliver their lines when they are shouting really loud make it soft. They make it very friendly and less scary. Also, volunteers help out to give relaxation tips and tools. It’s really important to help those need & especially those with disabilities. The best part is they usually will keep the house lights on or dimmed the half the whole time.
The next Broadway show to do an autism friendly performance will be the Tony winning smash hit Kinky Boots on Broadway this Sunday.
How amazing is this?!!
How Harry Smolin adjusts the Main Stem?s most spectacular shows for a marginalized audience without losing any of the magic.
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