Sensory-Friendly Theater

Theatre at the Mount collaborates annually with The Arc of Opportunity in Fitchburg to produce a Sensory-Friendly performance in late November/early December.

Ribbon with red, yellow, green and blue puzzle pieces to represent Autism AwarenessQ. What is a Sensory-Friendly performance?

A “sensory-friendly” performance is a theater production that is modified for individuals with sensory needs. A regular performance may be too loud, too bright or too busy for people with autism spectrum disorders, sensory processing disorders, anxiety or other cognitive or physical disabilities. The show is adapted to allow for more movement, staff and actors are specially trained to accommodate the needs of this population, and the “anything goes” environment creates a stress-free and more comfortable theater experience.

Q. Who should attend this performance?

The sensory-friendly performance is specially catered to children and adults with sensory input disorders, autism, or other developmental, cognitive and physical disabilities and their families and caretakers. This is a judgment-free, fun experience for the entire family. Whereas other public performances might frown upon a lot of movement or loud reactions, it will be fully embraced and supported during this performance. What better way to help build social and living skills to use later in life than to experience an event within the community. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Caretakers and family members of individuals with special needs are encouraged to attend.

Q. What changes can we expect for the sensory-friendly performance?

  • Lower sound level, especially for startling or loud sounds
  • Lights remain on at a low level in the theater during the performance
  • A reduction of strobe lighting or lighting focused on the audience
  • Patrons are free to talk and leave their seats during the performance
  • Designated quiet areas adjacent to the theater
  • Space throughout the theater for standing and movement
  • Limited crowds and visitors at the Theatre at The Mount during the day and timing of the performance
  • Theatre at The Mount staff trained to be inviting and accommodating to families’ needs.

Q. When is the next sensory-friendly performance?

Due to COVID-19 the annual Sensory-Friendly Performance for 2020 has been cancelled. We hope to resume our Sensory-Friendly programming as soon as we can safely do so and will post information here as it becomes available.