A More Relaxed and Inclusive Theatre Environment: Half-Off Sensory-Friendly/All-Access Performances
The Utah Shakespeare Festival is committed to offering a theatre-going experience in which everyone feels confident and comfortable. It is with this commitment in mind that the Festival is offering two Sensory-Friendly/All-Access performances during the 2023 season at a reduced ticket price.
These are performances designed for individuals with sensory sensitivities, those on the autism spectrum, those with other physical and neurodiversities, and anyone who would enjoy attending live theatre in a more flexible and relaxed environment. Our team is available to answer any questions and to help ensure a positive theatre experience for all: please feel free to call the Education Department at 435-865-8333.
Tickets will be fifty percent off, and patrons can see A Midsummer Night’s Dream at 8:00 pm on September 4 in the outdoor Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre, or Jane Austen’s Emma The Musical at 2:00 pm on September 9 in the indoor Randall L. Jones Theatre. To purchase tickets, contact the box office at 800-PLAYTIX.
What to Expect
For those attending these performances, visit our Accessibility Resources page for a full list of what to expect and what is being offered.
“We’re really not making changes to the shows, we’re just adjusting certain aspects to make the theatre-going experience more accessible,” Education Director Katherine Norman said.
Some of these changes include: a relaxed audience setting that encourages and embraces movement and noise, house lights staying partially on, closed captioning, additional signs around the theatre for more ease of navigation, designated quiet spaces for guests who would like a break, and more.
Additionally, the theatres will be open prior to performances for anyone who would like to visit the space in a quieter setting before the performance. Specific times are listed on the Accessibility Resources page. Patrons may also find these social narratives and this video story helpful to see everything they need to know before attending.
Guests will also have the opportunity to meet actors in the lobby following the Emma performance. At the performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, there will be a sensory table, where guests will be able to interact with items from the production, like pieces of Oberon’s shirt provided from the Costume Shop.
In an effort to expand accessibility resources, the Festival is working in partnership with Pink Umbrella Theatre/Stepping Stone Educational Services.
“They are a theatre company completely focused on theatre by and for people, mostly on the autism spectrum, but with all sorts of neurodiversities,” Norman said. “Since that is their expertise, they’ve been supporting us in expanding our offerings.”
Additionally, the Education Department is working directly with an advisory committee of Cedar City community members to make sure the Sensory-Friendly/All-Access performances are benefitting guests in the best way possible. Made up of theatre lovers who are neurodiverse themselves, as well as parents, teachers, and more, it has been a very collaborative process.
“These community members came to the shows and have offered feedback on what extra resources or supports were needed, or how we could adapt to make guests feel more comfortable,” Norman said.
For those interested in joining the committee next season, please email email@example.com.
Military Appreciation Days and Sensory-Friendly/All-Access Performances
During the same time, the Festival is also celebrating our Armed Forces by offering free tickets to military personnel for performances from September 4 to 9. Our Military Appreciation Days recognize the invaluable sacrifices, commitment, and unwavering dedication of our veterans and active-duty members.
Eligible patrons—those with a military ID or DD214 form, whether active or veteran—can receive four complimentary tickets per ID to any 2023 show during the specified dates. Please contact the box office to redeem. These tickets can be split across multiple shows or all used for a single performance. Please note, these tickets cannot be redeemed for premier seating sections.
These tickets can be redeemed for Sensory-Friendly/All-Access performances during the same week. Our team is available to answer any questions and to help ensure a memorable theatre experience for all.
The 2023 season lineup is Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and A Raisin in the Sun which close by September 9; The Play That Goes Wrong, Jane Austen’s Emma The Musical, Coriolanus, and Timon of Athens which run through October 7. For more information, to purchase tickets, and more bard.org or call 1-800-PLAYTIX.