Relaxed performances provide the opportunity for individuals who might struggle with the traditional theatre experience. They are sensitive to patrons who might benefit from a more comfortable and relaxed environment. Patrons of all abilities are welcome, including autism spectrum disorder and those with a wide range of social, sensory, or educational needs. The adaptations for relaxed performances do not change the story or the artistic direction.
As we continue to create an inclusive environment where everyone can enjoy our shows, we are pleased to offer the second Saturday of every show on the Main Stage designated as a relaxed performance.
A relaxed performance is a show that’s been adapted to suit people who might require a more relaxed environment when going to the theatre. Usually, these are adults or children with learning difficulties, autism or sensory communication disorders.
People with conditions like these can find standard theatre performances overwhelming or unpleasant. Common triggers are darkness, loud music, sudden noises and a generally unfamiliar environment in which you’re expected to sit still and quiet for a long time. Some technical changes may have been made to the performance – this can include quieter music, reducing loud or surprising sound effects and avoiding strobe lighting.
The atmosphere is exactly that – relaxed! The lights aren’t turned off and sometimes aren’t even dimmed. Theatres will often provide a ‘chill-out’ area for people to visit if the experience becomes overwhelming. Generally, people are allowed to enter and leave the auditorium freely, and there is an open attitude towards audience noise and movement.
Specifically, relaxed performances will:
- Welcome children of all ages, including babes in arms
- Be understanding of patrons who make noise
- Be understanding of patrons who may need to stand, walk, or leave and re-enter the performance
- If you don’t want to re-enter the theatre, we have screens in the lobby that you can watch instead
- The cast will provide pre-show information such as plot summary and when to expect loud noises
- Extreme special effects, such as strobe lights, are reduced or softened
- Auditorium lights only slightly dimmed
Patrons considering attending a relaxed performance should still consider show description, as the subject matter of some shows may not be suitable for all audiences.
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