Autistic children and those with sensory challenges can enjoy an afternoon at the theatre when Shelby County Players presents a sensory-friendly version of “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs.”
The show is set to take place at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Strand Theatre, 215 S. Harrison St., in Shelbyville.
SCP and Strand volunteers will be accommodating patrons in several ways, starting with providing a link on SCP’s website that allows them to request the script and songs in advance to familiarize themselves with the show. That link can be found at shelbycountyplayers.com/sensoryfriendly.html.
Startling sounds in the show will be reduced with lower sound levels and personal devices such as iPads will be allowed in the theatre. There will also be designated areas for quiet or active space inside the theatre.
A complete list of what accommodations will be made can be found on the website.
SCP managing director Cindy Leahy said she attended a state convention a year ago where she heard a presentation by the Indianapolis Repertory Theatre and Fort Wayne Civic Theatre that provided insight on sensory-friendly shows. Both had produced those types of shows and the idea spurred Leahy to create the same opportunity for local patrons.
The response to the idea has been positive, she said.
“People in the autism community are very supportive of this,” she said. “The demographic and community are often apprehensive to go to public arts events or live theatre in particular.”
That’s because they worry about how others will react to them, and how they will react to the show’s lights and sounds.
“We take away some of those concerns and stresses,” she said.
The show itself will not be altered.
“This is the first time we’re doing it so I hope people take advantage of the opportunity to experience it,” she said.
In the future, SCP also is wanting to provide a pictorial of the Strand’s layout so that people with sensory challenges can be familiar with what it looks like.
SCP will perform the show without those accommodations at 7:30 p.m. tonight and at 2 p.m. Sunday.