Theater offers autism-friendly live performances

Feb 23, 2015

The Croswell Opera House in Adrian is doing an autism-friendly performance of "The Cat in the Hat."
Credit Croswell Opera House

A theater in Adrian is putting on a production geared for kids with autism.

"The Cat in the Hat" at the Croswell Opera House will try to minimize loud noises or bright lights.

Families can ask for buffer seats if kids need more personal space. There will be "chill out zones" outside the auditorium for anyone who gets overstimulated or just needs a break.

Jere Righter is the artistic director. She says it can be tough for families with autistic kids to see live theater.

"I think it's hard to understand how difficult it might be to actually go out and experience something like a live performance, with someone who you don't want to be embarrassed, you don't want your child to act out, so you just don't do it."

The theater will also open early so kids can come in and get familiar with the auditorium and their seats. Righter says they’ll have “social stories,” individual pamphlets for the kids that give them a visual rundown of what they’ll see on stage.

The performance is March 1.