Theater News

SpongeBob, Frozen, and More to Offer Autism-Friendly Performances

TDF announces its 2018-19 lineup of Broadway performances tailored to audiences on the autism spectrum.

Broadway's Frozen will offer an autism-friendly performance on November 4.
Broadway's Frozen will offer an autism-friendly performance on November 4.
(© Deen var Meer)

TDF, the not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts now celebrating its 50th year of service, has announced its eighth season of autism-friendly performances of Broadway shows for families with children and adults on the autism spectrum and other developmental disabilities.

The five-show season begins with an autism-friendly performance of Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants (Sunday, July 15 at 1pm), and continues with Disney Theatrical's The Lion King (Sunday, September 30, at 1pm), Frozen (Sunday, November 4, at 1pm), and Aladdin (Sunday, March 3, 2019, at 1pm). The season concludes with an autism-friendly performance of the Lincoln Center Theater revival of Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady (Sunday, May 5, 2019, at 1pm).

The July 15 performance of SpongeBob SquarePants has already sold out. Tickets to the remaining productions generally go on sale six to eight weeks before the performance. For more information about TDF's autism-friendly performances and to sign up to receive notifications on how and when to purchase tickets, click here. Tickets to these special performances are sold only through TDF's website.

The TDF Autism-Friendly Performances Program was founded in 2011 and operates under the umbrella of TDF's Accessibility Programs. To create an autism-friendly setting, the shows are performed in a friendly, supportive environment for an audience of families and friends with children or adults who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or other sensitivity issues. Slight adjustments to the production, where possible, will include reduction of any jarring sounds or strobe lights focused into the audience. In the theater lobby, there will be staffed quiet and play areas, if anyone needs to leave their seats during the performance. For these special performances, TDF purchases every seat in the theater and makes tickets available exclusively to families, groups, schools, etc. whose members include individuals on the autism spectrum at discount prices.