We are very fortunate and honored to receive an inaugural Audience (R)Evolution grant from Theatre Communications Group, the national trade organization for regional professional theatres. Through this project we will lead a cohort of six theatres that together address accessibility and inclusivity needs across our shared tri-state region by offering 10-12 relaxed performances collectively in the next two years. American Theatre covered the grant here, and you can read about the full details in our press release.
What is a relaxed performance?
Relaxed performances are specially adjusted sensory-friendly shows, designed to create a theatre experience that is welcoming, judgment-free, and inclusive of children and families with a wide range of sensory, learning, and communication differences, including, but not limited to individuals on the autism spectrum, as well as young children and anyone who might benefit from this relaxed environment.
Upcoming relaxed performances:
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
Sunday, May 28th at 2pm
Leonard C. Haas Stage
For 50% off tickets, use promo code PLTACCESS online or over the phone.
Performance Adjustments include:
- House lights will remain on at a low level in the theater during the performance;
- Lower sound levels, especially for startling or loud sounds; (or refocusing of those moments)
- A reduction of startling and/or strobe lighting;
- Freedom to talk, vocalize and leave seats during the performance as needed;
- Space available throughout the theater for standing and movement and;
- Limited crowds and visitors through the theatre lobby during the day and timing of the performance.
We invite you to bring noise-cancelling headphones, fidget and stress sensory toys, and/or anything else you may need to ensure maximum comfort and safety.
Resources available before and during the performance:
- A quiet area will be available in the theatre lobby with bean bag chairs, space and other materials to relax, as needed;
- Fidget and stress sensory toys will be available to borrow as needed;
- People’s Light staff, who have been trained to be inviting and accommodating to families’ needs, will be available throughout the theatre and the lobby;
- Disposable ear-plugs will be available; and
- Pre-show preparation materials will be available online as the performance date approaches to help prepare all attendees for the experience of visiting People’s Light and attending these performances. (Check the top of the page, beneath the performance dates!)
Before the Show:
- We have 2 theatres on our property. The Leonard C. Haas Stage, formerly the Main Stage, is located at the front of the property. The Steinbright Stage is located in the second building as you continue driving through the parking lot.
- Plenty of free parking is available.
- Need directions to People’s Light? Try Google Maps or Map Quest. Our address is 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, PA 19355.
- Beat the lines at intermission and pre-order your concessions.
- More questions? Visit our FAQ page.
On January 15, 2017, I attended the Relaxed and Sensory Friendly version of the play Sleeping Beauty at People’s Light in Malvern, PA with my three children (16, 15 and 13 years old). The play, a newer version of the old fairy tale, was absolutely amazing – and loved by all of my children. What was even more exciting for me, however, is that my 15-year-old daughter who has autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities and anxiety disorder, enjoyed the WHOLE experience! Adaptions were made to keep the sound a little quieter, headphones or ear plugs were distributed as needed, as well as fidget toys for sensory reasons, lights remained on a little bit higher so moving around was feasible, there were two American Sign Language translators, and it was announced before the show that this is a “no shush zone!”, where any sounds, movements or adaptions are allowed and welcomed. My daughter felt SO comfortable, being able to dance, watch her iPad if she needed a break, and talk to me at any point in the show. During intermission snacks and drinks are sold, and there are even gluten free options. I would HIGHLY recommend that any family or group with special needs individuals attend one of People’s Light’s upcoming relaxed performances. It is a remarkable experience of acceptance, creativity and delight for all!
~ Amy Kelly, Director of Family & Community Services, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health