More Chicagoland families now have the opportunity to experience A Christmas Carol as Goodman Theatre offers its first-ever sensory-friendly/relaxed performance. Presented in partnership with Autism Speaks-Chicago, the Goodman welcomes families with members who have autism or other social, cognitive and physical challenges that create sensory sensitivities. The sensory-friendly/relaxed performance takes place on Saturday, December 30 at 2pm; tickets ($15-35), with promo code SENSORY. Resource materials, lobby and seating maps for the December 30 performance are available at GoodmanTheatre.org/SensoryPerformance, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 N. Dearborn). For more information, e-mail Access@GoodmanTheatre.org.Please Note: Individuals who do not have sensory sensitivities or who are not accompanying those who do are encouraged to attend a different performance of A Christmas Carol.
"As a parent of a child on the autism spectrum, a child who is under constant sensory assault, it touches my family deeply that Goodman Theatre would create an environment with A Christmas Carol that would not only entertain, but embrace people who, like my son, face an otherwise hostile world,” said actor Kareem Bandealy, who will appear as Ebenezer Scrooge during this performance.
The following accommodations will be made during the sensory-friendly/relaxed performance:
- Dimmed house lights and open doors for easy exit, if patrons need to take a break mid-performance
- Lower sound levels, especially for startling or loud sounds and reduction of strobe lighting
- Designated quiet areas in the lobby areas, with space in the theater for standing and movement
- Limited crowds and visitors during the day and time of the performance
- Trained staff for families’ needs
The theater also provides services for patrons who are blind or have low vision; patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing; and patrons who have mobility disabilities. Upcoming accessible performances include Open-Captioned on December 9 and Audio-Described on December 13. A full list of accessible performances (remainder of the 2017/2018 Season) can be found online at GoodmanTheatre.org/accessibility.
Over four decades, 1.5 million people have delighted in the spectacular storytelling, glorious music and Scrooge’s unforgettable discovery of kindness, generosity and love. Ten directors, eight Ebenezer Scrooges and 29 Tiny Tims later, Goodman Theatre’s A Christmas Carol celebrates 40 years, through December 31. Larry Yando marks his 10th year as Scrooge, and for the fifth year, Artistic Associate Henry Wishcamper directs Charles Dickens’ universal tale of hope and redemption with a cast of 25 featuring Paris Strickland in her Goodman debut as the theater’s first female Tiny Tim—and returning cast members: Kareem Bandealy as Narrator/Scrooge Alternate; Ariana Burks as Martha Cratchit; Lisa Gaye Dixon as Ghost of Christmas Present; Joe Foust as Jacob Marley; J. Salomé Martinez as Abe; Ron E. Rains as Bob Cratchit; Sadieh Rifai as Mrs. Cratchit; Penelope Walker as Mrs. Fezziwig; Jonah D. Winston as Mr. Fezziwig; and musicians Justin Amolsch, Andrew Coil, Greg Hirte and Malcolm Ruhl. The newcomers include Breon Arzell as Dick Wilkins/Ghost of Christmas Future; Molly Brennan as Ghost of Christmas Past; Ali Burch as Frida; Meighan Gerachis as Schoolmaster; and Michele Vazquez as Mrs. Cratchit. The young performers in A Christmas Carol, cast from hundreds of Chicagoland children who auditioned, also include Margaret Chong, 10 (Chicago), as Emily Cratchit; Andrea Crisp, 10 (Darien), as Belinda Cratchit; Cameron Goode, 15 (Chicago), as Boy Scrooge; Kei, 9 (Chicago), as Turkey Boy; and Aaron Stone, 14 (Round Lake Beach), returning as Peter Cratchit.
About Goodman Theatre
AMERICA’S “BEST REGIONAL THEATRE” (Time magazine), Goodman Theatre is a premier not-for-profit organization distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and civic engagement. Led by Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the theater’s artistic priorities include new play development (more than 150 world or American premieres), large scale musical theater works and reimagined classics (celebrated revivals include Falls’ productions of Death of a Salesman and The Iceman Cometh). Goodman Theatre artists and productions have earned two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards, over 160 Jeff Awards and many more accolades. In addition, the Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle” and its annual holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this season, has created a new generation of theatergoers. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production partner with local off-Loop theaters and national and international companies byproviding financial support or physical space for a variety of artistic endeavors.
Committed to three core values of Quality, Diversity and Community, the Goodman proactively makes inclusion the fabric of the institution and develops education and community engagement programs that support arts as education. This practice uses the process of artistic creation to inspire and empower youth, lifelong learners and audiences to find and/or enhance their voices, stories and abilities. The Goodman’s Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement is the home of such programming, most offered free of charge, and has vastly expanded the theater’s ability to touch the lives of Chicagoland citizens (with 85% of youth participants coming from underserved communities) since its 2016 opening.
Goodman Theatre was founded by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth, an important figure in Chicago’s cultural renaissance in the early 1900s. The Goodman family’s legacy lives on through the continued work and dedication of Kenneth’s family, including Albert Ivar Goodman, who with his late mother, Edith-Marie Appleton, contributed the necessary funds for the creation of the new Goodman center in 2000.
Today, Goodman Theatre leadership also includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Brian Dennehy, Rebecca Gilman, Henry Godinez, Dael Orlandersmith, Steve Scott, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. David W. Fox, Jr. is Chair of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Cynthia K. Scholl is Women’s Board President and Justin A. Kulovsek is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.