Sensory-friendly performance at PlayhouseSquare - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Sensory-friendly performance at PlayhouseSquare

Sensory friendly play at Playhouse Square. (Source: WOIO) Sensory friendly play at Playhouse Square. (Source: WOIO)
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On January 13, 2015, the PlayhouseSquare will present its first sensory-friendly performance as the beginning of a new programming initiative dedicated to increasing access and inclusion for individuals on the autism spectrum, as well as those with sensory challenges or developmental disabilities.

“We want everyone to be able to experience the transformative power of live theater,” said Daniel Hahn, vice president of community engagement & education at PlayhouseSquare. “I have seen firsthand how meaningful it can be for children and adults who are on the spectrum to witness a live performance, and how special it is for parents and caregivers to share this experience when previously they could not even consider a trip to the theater.” 

PlayhouseSquare has been working with master teaching artist and performer Paige Hernandez to develop her show Havana Hop for the stage and for sensory-friendly adaptation. 

Following the sensory-friendly performance on January 13, Havana Hop will run through January 18 at PlayhouseSquare with school matinees Wednesday through Friday and performances for families Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets for the sensory-friendly performance on January 13 at 11 a.m. are $5 ($3 for Cleveland Metropolitan School District schools) and may be purchased by completing an order form available at playhousesquare.org or by calling 216-640-8865. Families, groups and schools requiring a sensory-friendly environment are welcome.

For information about other performances of Havana Hop, please visit playhousesquare.org or call 216-348-7909.

What makes a performance sensory-friendly?


•     Lower sound levels, especially for startling or loud sounds

•     Guests are free to talk, leave their seats and move freely during the performance

•     House lights in the theater will be left on low throughout the performance

•     Designated calming areas staffed by volunteer specialists in the theater lobby

•     Judgment-free environment, welcoming to all

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