‘Cat in the Hat’ sensory-friendly shows begin next month

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Nick Schweigel with his father, Terry Schweigel, at last year’s performance of “The Cat in the Hat.” (Submitted photo)

Nick Schweigel with his father, Terry Schweigel, at last year’s performance of “The Cat in the Hat.” (Submitted photo)

Through an ongoing partnership with ArtMix, Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre will further develop its sensory-friendly performances of “The Cat in the Hat” with support from the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Civic will expand this program to provide students attending the show with a complete theatre encounter through access to live theatre and participation in the arts.

Prior to arriving at the Tarkington, classrooms will be sent social stories to help familiarize students with the experience of attending live theatre. During the performance at the Tarkington, “The Cat in the Hat” is slightly modified with appropriate accommodations including an educational curtain speech, adequate house lighting, alternative house rules to allow talking and moving, autism specialists available for those who needed to leave their seats during the performance.

Above all, dedicated sensory-friendly performances encourage a friendly, welcoming environment as well as an audience understanding of special needs.

All special needs classrooms attending the sensory-friendly performance will receive artist visits with lessons in the visual and performing arts connected to the content of the performance. These adaptive opportunities with trained artists will increase learning through the arts with activities that may include drawing the set and characters or performing alternate endings.

Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre is proud to work with ArtMix and to have the support of the Kennedy Center to provide an opportunity for children and youth of all abilities to fully immerse themselves in a well-loved story through live theatre and participation in the arts. Sensory-friendly shows will be on Feb. 27 and March 1. For more, visit civictheatre.org.

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