Harbison Theatre will reprise Story Squad for a sensory-friendly performance designed to engage all audiences, particularly those along the autism spectrum and others who live with sensory sensitivity. This sensory-friendly performance will be the first produced by a professional company in the Midlands and will be performed on May 19 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person.
Sensory-friendly performances are productions slightly modified to create a more comfortable, enjoyable experience for audience members along the autism spectrum and for those who experience other sensory sensitivity. Loud sounds are quieter, surprising elements are not as surprising, the lights over the audience are not as dark, and ushers are trained to unobtrusively alert parents and other audience members to upcoming mood, music or lighting changes.
Sensory-friendly performances are also accompanied by social stories that help prepare audience members for the experience. Visit the performance web page to read the social story and to buy tickets.
The cast of Story Squad and the technical staff of Harbison Theatre worked with Jessie Baughman, lead case manager for Palmetto Autism Interventions, and with Susanna Fomby, former Columbia resident and consultant to the sensory-friendly performance of The Lion King on Broadway, to tailor this performance for the audience. Says Baughman, “Sensory disorders, common but not limited to individuals with autism, can make attending some events and outings challenging for families. By offering sensory-friendly performances, Harbison Theatre provides an inclusive and judgment-free environment in which Midland’s children and their families can have an opportunity to experience the arts. Fostering programs for children to learn and share experiences together, despite disability, is essential to the community, and my hope is that more organizations in the Midlands follow the example of Harbison Theatre.”
About Story Squad
Story Squad celebrates the myriad ways that humans communicate our stories – through spoken words, song, lights, music and more. The show is the first production born of the Harbison Theatre at MTC Incubator for New Artistic Work. The Incubator invited Darion McCloud, renowned and beloved storyteller, actor, and director based in Columbia, to create a new production that would be suitable for touring to other communities. McCloud assembled his squad of musicians, actors and storytellers and together they created Story Squad. The show will tour both its original and its sensory-friendly performances.
About Harbison Theatre
Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College presents high-quality performances and events that strengthen the education of our students, deepen our relationship with the community, and make the Midlands a region where people love to learn, work, play and prosper. To learn about upcoming events, purchase tickets and pursue volunteer opportunities, visit the Harbison Theatre website.
Via: Harbison Theatre