*This article was originally published in the Winchester Star.
Seeing a live theater performance can be a magical experience. The lights go out. All is quiet. The orchestra begins to play and just as the music reaches a crescendo the curtain rises and dozens of singing actors in brightly colored costumes start tap dancing across the stage.
But the lights and music that transport audiences to another place and time can be frightening to people with sensory processing issues or young children. And the special theater rules — don’t enter late, stay seated until the house lights go up and absolutely no talking — can be too restrictive for the wiggliest child.
To allow everyone to enjoy live theater, Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre will hold its first ever “Relaxed Performance” at 1:30 p.m. July 30.
The performance of “Sound of Music” also comes a special ticket price of $15, a discount from regular ticket prices.
SSMT worked with Grafton Integrated Health Network and local special education teachers to make sure the theater is modified into a welcoming environment for young children and those with sensory processing issues.
Read the full story here.