For those with special needs — and their families — enjoying the arts can be a challenge. Sensory disabilities, especially, make it difficult to sit still and quietly for several hours during a play, and loud noises or music can be upsetting. To make theater more accessible for those with special needs, RAPA is collaborating with BOCES and AutismUp to introduce a sensory friendly performance program for the 2017-18 season.
RAPA is opening its Family Theatre with "A Year with Frog and Toad," and will include a sensory friendly performance on Sunday, October 1, at 4:30 p.m. The performance will have reduced loud or jarring sounds, no flashing or strobe lights, and removal of actors in the aisles. Throughout the show, house lights will remain on at 50 percent during the performance, and there will be designated "quiet room" and "take a break" spaces as well as a distraction-reducing location for the post-show meet and greet with the characters. RAPA will have sensory friendly performances during its runs for "The Gingerbread Man" (February 4) and "Treasure Island" (April 29).
"A Year with Frog and Toad" takes place Saturday, September 30, through Sunday, October 15, at the Kodak Center, 200 West Ridge Road, with one sensory friendly performance on October 1. Tickets are $20 for adults; $18 for seniors and students; and $10 for children 12 and under. 254-0073; rapatheatre.org.