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Autism-friendly performance of 'Oklahoma!', Boston, Oct. 20

Posted by Jen Clark Estes  October 17, 2013 08:56 AM

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Photo by Max Wagenblass

This weekend, the Boston Conservatory Theatre is hosting a special performance of the classic musical “Oklahoma!” designed specifically for families with children on the autism spectrum or who have other sensory issues. Some adjustments to this matinee performance include dimming house lights slightly, rather than completely; keeping audio levels relatively balanced to avoid jarring, loud sounds; avoiding intense lighting that may be stressful; extending the intermission period; allowing children and their families to talk during the performance and leave their seats with parental supervision; allowing snacks and non-glassware drinks in the theater, along with headphones and earplugs; and creating a special “Quiet/Activity Room” featuring mats, chairs and tables with coloring activities, sticker books, and fidgets (hand-held manipulatives) for children who become overstimulated and may need a break, Additionally, all staff present at the performance, including ushers, cast members, and crew members, will be trained specifically for this performance and an E.M.S. worker will be on site at all times. Parents can visit the Conservatory website for additional resources, including a "Coming to the Theatre" video which can help prepare children for a trip to the show. Sun., Oct. 20, 2 p.m. Only for families with children on the autism spectrum/with sensory issues. Adults, $20; children, $10. Purchase tickets online. The Boston Conservatory Theatre, 31 Hemenway St., Boston.

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Kristi Palma, Moms producer, is the mom of a first grader and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.
Jennifer Clark Estes is a teacher, writer, blogger, and the mother of four young children. In her free time, she blogs at A Mom's World, plays with the kids (or chauffeurs them around), and is desperately seeking a quiet spot so she can read a book. Follow her on Twitter @JenniferCEstes.

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