Autism friendly theatre comes to the U.P.

MARQUETTE — For a lot of people, going to see a theatre performance can be enjoyable, but for others, it can be difficult.
The Forest Roberts Theatre has now joined a new initiative to provide theatre for everyone.

The FRT is joining forces with the Theatre Development Fund’s Autism Theatre Initiative out of New York City to put on one sensory friendly performance of their upcoming production of Tarzan on Sunday, April 15th.

The Autism Theatre Initiative was launched in 2011 and the mission is to make theatre accessible to children and adults on the autism spectrum as well as their families. Each show is performed in a friendly, supportive environment for families and friends with children or adults who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or other sensory issues.

“Our volume level will probably not go over 90 decibels; lighting – our house lights will stay on at about 30 percent, as well as we’ll leave the doors to the theatre open, so people can kind of come and go as they please if they find that the sensory overload is too much, or if they just need a break,” said NMU’s Head of Theatre, Bill Digneit.

Digneit says that thanks to generous donations from the community, all of the tickets for this performance have been paid for in full. You can reserve your tickets for the FRT’s first ever sensory friendly performance at the FRT Box Office or online at tickets.nmu.edu.

The theatre plans on continuing this initiative into the 2018-2019 academic year.