Sensory Friendly Performances

UPCOMING SENSORY FRIENDLY PERFORMANCES

Miracle on 34th Street (Family friendly musical comedy)
Sensory Friendly Performance Tuesday, December 12, 2017; 7:30pm

Tickets: $20 adults, $10 students and educators CLICK FOR TICKETS
A Holiday tradition. Based on the movie of the same name, Miracle On 34th Street features a book and score by Meredith Willson. Single mother Doris Walker doesn’t want her six-year-old’s head filled with romantic notions. Their neighbor Fred Gailey tries to woo Doris by taking her daughter to see Santa Claus at Macy’s. Doris is not impressed, but when it turns out Macy’s Santa may in fact be the real Kris Kringle, a wave of love spreads across New York City that melts even the most cynical of hearts. Sponsored by: MHK Architecture & Planning

The Music Man (Family friendly musical comedy)
Sensory Friendly Performance Tuesday, March 20, 2018; 7:30pm
Tickets: $20 adults, $10 students and educators CLICK FOR TICKETS
Funny, warm, romantic, and touching, The Music Man is family entertainment at its best. Meredith Willson’s six-time, Tony Award-winning musical comedy has been entertaining audiences since 1957 and is a family-friendly story to be shared with every generation. The Music Man follows fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the people of River City, Iowa into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band that he vows to organize. When he falls for the librarian, his plans to skip town with the cash are foiled. Sponsored by First Florida Integrity Bank

Expanding Community Reach

The mission of The Naples Players is to enrich, educate, and entertain our community through a superior theatre experience. We proudly bill ourselves as a theatre for the community – working to create shared experiences that are impactful in and relevant to southwest Florida, that will generate community conversation and engagement, and that will enrich the lives of those that we encounter. But shared experiences are only helpful to those who can access them. It is with this in mind that The Naples Players is nurturing and growing programs to increase the access to the theatre for people with special needs.

This means not only making sure that people with special needs have the opportunity to see fine theatre, but also to create it themselves. From sensory-friendly screenings to real-world lessons presented through improv, The Naples Players is welcoming this often underserved population into our theatre community.

About Sensory Friendly Performances
The Naples Players will provide sensory screenings for two of its most exciting, family-friendly performances: Miracle on 34th Street (December 12th, 2017), and The Music Man (March 20, 2018). As sensory-friendly screenings become more common in local movie theatres and even on Broadway, we know it is beyond time to expand this practice to our plays and musicals. The Naples Players is proud to participate in the national shift towards making it possible for individuals with special needs and their families to experience the same quality theatre as everyone else.

What are sensory-friendly screenings, and why are they important? For many people with special needs, sensory stimuli are overwhelming and sometimes painful. Tina J Richardson, a woman with autism, describes it well when she writes: “Some things just feel so intense. I’m not over-reacting. My sensory processing is unique to me.” This, coupled with the fact that many people with special needs cannot sit still for long periods of time, makes it difficult for them to attend traditional screenings full of loud noises and strobe lights, and where they are not allowed to move around or make noise.

This can make them and their families uncomfortable in public spaces, especially in cultural performances, where any kind of disruption is often met with judging stares. However, the slight changes introduced in sensory-friendly screenings, can transform the theatre into a place as welcoming and comfortable as their own home. During these screenings, the house lights remain on during the performance, sound is turned down, movement during the performance is not restricted, and the performance is capped at 50% capacity. In addition, audience members receive a guide to the show that tells them when there might be a sensory trigger so they can prepare themselves in advance. This can make all the difference in opening the doors of the theater to people with special needs.

We know that people with special needs are a vibrant, positive, and important part of the Naples community, and we want them, as well as their families and friends to feel welcome at The Naples Players. These sensory-friendly performances are the brain child Bryce Alexander, the Artistic Director of The Naples Players. In his previous work in Colorado theatre, he helped grow a statewide initiative to increase the number of sensory-friendly performances at theatres throughout the state. The program flourished, and he’s ready to bring those successes here to Naples. “It’s a huge portion of our population…the important thing is that we’re providing the same quality art to these individuals without overwhelming stimulus.”

Special pricing for Sensory Friendly performances help make great theatre affordable for families.

Learn more about Sensory Friendly Classes by contacting Education Director Craig Price at (239) 434-7340, ext. 103 and cprice@naplesplayers.org

Learn more about supporting TNP’s Sensory Friendly performances and programming contact Artistic Director Bryce Alexander at (239) 434-7340, ext. 124 and balexander@naplesplayers.org

 

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