Sensory Friendly Theatre

Sensory Friendly Theatre

Making the arts accessible to children with autism or similar sensory sensitivity

The Union County Board of County Commissioners is pleased to present the Sensory Friendly Theatre series at Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway. Sensory Friendly music, theater and dance performances are specially adapted for children and adults with autism and other sensory sensitivities.

Implementing the supportive atmosphere are special education teachers, who train staff and volunteers on working with children with autism and other special needs during Sensory Friendly Theatre performances, while providing comfort and help to families.

The County Commissioners Board is proud to support programs for adults and children of all abilities throughout the year. For all the latest events, activities, and updates visit the County’s website at www.ucnj.org.

What to expect at a Sensory Friendly Theatre event:

1. Each performance runs 60 minutes from start to finish, with no intermission.

2. Seating is general admission and a limited number of tickets will be sold to maintain a comfortably-sized audience.

3. Lights will remain up inside the theater auditorium during the entire performance.

4. Sound volume will be lowered and remain constant to prevent abrupt, jarring sounds.

Things to keep in mind:

1. Children are free to talk and vocalize as they wish!

2. Children may only leave their seats with parental or guardian supervision.

3. A private area will be available in the UCPAC cafe where children and their families can relax and take a break, if needed.

4. Fidget and stress-sensory toys will be available for children to borrow for the performance.

5. Professional Autism specialists will be available throughout the performance to provide assistance if need be.

6. A printable copy of the “This Is My Theatre” Social Story Picture Packet may be downloaded here. Families are encouraged to use this packet to help acquaint their children with the experience of going to a live performance.

(Photo on this page used with permission of NJBallet, which participates in UCPAC’s Sensory Friendly Theatre performances.)

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