Tobin Center to Host Sensory-Friendly Performances

Ian Curtis, the late lead singer of the historic Joy Division, was epileptic. Due to Curtis' condition, Joy Division performed with the lights on. Could you imagine seeing a live performance of "Love Will Tear Us Apart" in a mid-sized club with the lights on?? Well, this is a reality for many in San Antonio and around the country.

Movie theaters have begun to provide a welcoming environment for those similar to Ian Curtis to be able to experience motion pictures. Today, The Tobin Center announces an initiative to share the performing arts in a supportive environment that is specially adapted to those of families with members  diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, cognitive and physical challenges, or other sensory sensitivities.

From a press release: 

The Tobin Center will launch this initiative in partnership with the Autism Theatre Initiative of the Theater Development Fund based in New York City. TDF’s Autism Theatre Initiative consults with theatres and presenting houses across the country as part of their National Advisory Partnerships. Previous advisory partnerships have included The Old Globe, Hartford Stage, The Hobby Center, Big Apple Circus, Pittsburgh Ballet, and more.

The Sensory-Friendly Performance with Parsons Dance Company is on Monday, September 26, 2016 at 11 am in the H-E- B Performance Hall.  This performance is a special one-hour presentationset to accommodate the sensory challenges of the audience. While the integrity of the performance remains the same, certain elements are modified in an effort to create a welcoming and inclusive audience experience for families with members on the autism spectrum. These accommodations include:

  • Lower sound level, especially for startling or loud sounds;
  • Lights remain on at a low level in the theater during the performance;
  • A reduction of strobe lighting or lighting focused on the audience;
  • Patrons are free to talk and leave their seats during the performance;
  • Designated quiet areas within the theater, staffed with autism specialists;
  • Space throughout the theater for standing and movement;
  • Limited crowds and visitors at The Tobin during the day and timing of the performance;
  • Tobin staff and volunteers trained to be inviting and accommodating to families' needs.

Tickets and more information for this Sensory- Friendly Performance with Parsons Dance Co. can be found online at www.tobincenter.org, via phone (210) 223-8624 and in-person at the Tobin Center’s Box Office (100 Auditorium Circle 78205). Box Office hours are Monday-Friday 10a-6p and Saturday, 10a-2pm.

Tickets are $15 and $20.