Goodman Theatre announces two Sensory-Friendly/Relaxed Performances as part of its ongoing efforts to make the plays on stage accessible to all audiences. In partnership with Autism Speaks-Chicago, these performances are designed to create a performing arts experiences intended for families with members who have autism or other social, cognitive and physical challenges that create sensory sensitivities.
The upcoming offerings include A Christmas Carol on December 29—building on the success of the first-ever performance offered this past year, during the 40th anniversary production of the Chicago holiday favorite, directed by Artistic Associate Henry Wishcamper. In addition, a sensory-friendly performance of The Music Man, directed by Manilow Resident Director Mary Zimmerman will be offered in Spring 2019 (date TBA). Tickets ($15–35 with promo code SENSORY; subject to change) are now available for the Sensory-Friendly/Relaxed Performance of A Christmas Carol on Saturday, December 29 at 2pm, along with resource materials, at GoodmanTheatre.org/SensoryPerformance. 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 these productions.
“We were proud to provide more than 500 audience members the opportunity to experience A Christmas Carol with our inaugural sensory-friendly performance this past December. Today, we’re thrilled to expand our accessibility efforts with sensory-friendly performances for A Christmas Carol and The Music Man in the upcoming 2018/2019 season,” said Goodman Theatre Executive Director Roche Schulfer. “We’re grateful to Autism Speaks-Chicago for their partnership and to the Chicagoland community for their trust and support as we continue our commitment to making theater as accessible as possible.”
The following accommodations will be made during the sensory-friendly performance:
- Designated quiet area show the patrons need to take a break during the performance
- Dimmed house lights and space in the theater for standing and movement
- Limited crowds and visitors during the day and time of the performance
- Friendly staff available for families’ needs ensuring a judgement-free environment.
In addition to the above offerings, the productions themselves will be modified for the sensory-friendly performance, in which there will be lower sound levels, especially for startling or loud sounds, and a reduction of strobe lighting and lighting focused on the audience.
"Autism Speaks is thrilled to partner with Goodman Theatre for the 2nd year to make a sensory friendly performance of A Christmas Carol possible for our families, as well as expand our efforts to include the joyous musical The Music Man,” said Executive Director of Autism Speaks-Chicago Keith McCormick. “The Goodman has been a leader among our partners working to help build understanding and appreciation for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. As buildings all over the world light up blue in recognition of World Autism Month, we are happy for the support of Chicago landmarks, including the Goodman as we continue to increase awareness.”
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. A full list of accessible performances (remainder of the 2017/2018 season) can be found online at GoodmanTheatre.org/access.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTIONS
41st Annual Production of A Christmas Carol
By Charles Dickens
Adapted by Tom Creamer
Directed by Henry Wishcamper
November 17 – December 30, 2018
Acclaimed Chicago actor Larry Yando returns for his 11th season at Goodman Theatre as Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, directed for the sixth year by Artistic Associate Henry Wishcamper. More than 1.5 million theatergoers have attended “the crown jewel of the holiday season” (Daily Herald) since the Goodmanestablished it as an annual offering in 1978—a time when only a handful of U.S. theaters mounted the production. Dickens’ holiday classic is the iconic tale of greedy businessman Ebenezer Scrooge, whose sizable bank account is only matched by his disdain for the holidays. One Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by four ghosts who take him on a spectacular adventure through his past, present and future, helping him rediscover the joys of life, love and friendship. Former cast members include stage and screen notables Jessie Mueller, Joe Minoso, Del Close, Harry J. Lennix, Felicia P. Fields, Raul Esparza, Sally Murphy and Frank Galati.
The Music Man
Book, Music and Lyrics by Meredith Willson
Based on a Story by Willson and Franklin Lacey
Directed by Mary Zimmerman
June 29 – August 4, 2019
Seventy-six trombones. One joyous musical masterpiece. He’s charismatic and charming—no wonder con man Harold Hill assumes he can easily fleece the stubborn citizens of River City, Iowa with the grand promise of a marching band. But the smooth-talking swindler can’t tell a trombone from a treble clef—and Marian, the local librarian, knows it. In his attempt to steal her heart (and save his hide), Harold learns a thing or two about moral responsibility—and unexpectedly enriches the town with a love of music. Mary Zimmerman (The Jungle Book, Wonderful Town) brings her magic touch to “one of the sunniest musicals ever” (The New York Times), including memorable favorites "Goodnight My Someone," "76 Trombones," "Gary, Indiana" and "Till There Was You."
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 celebrated 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 by providing 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.
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