Autism-friendly NYC show offered for younger kids

MARK KENNEDY AP Drama Writer Published:

NEW YORK (AP) -- Families of young autistic children have a new place to engage their sons and daughters -- a live Disney show.

The Theatre Development Fund, a nonprofit that provides access to live theater, will partner with Feld Entertainment, Inc. to offer an autism-friendly performance of "Disney Junior Live On Tour! Pirate & Princess Adventure" on April 19 at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.

The Fund has previously helped create autism-friendly showings of "The Lion King," ''Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" and "Wicked." The new April show is the first time the target audience is younger and comes during Autism Awareness month.

The Fund bought all the tickets to the show and will offer them at a discount for young children and adults on the autism spectrum. The venue holds more than 5,000 seats but only 2,000 will be made available so patrons have welcoming space. Tickets range from $32 to $69.

The show will be slightly altered to make those with autism more comfortable, including cutting jarring sounds and strobe lights. Quiet areas with beanbag chairs and coloring books, staffed by autism experts, also will be created inside the theater.

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Online: www.tdf.org/disneyjrliveontour