This fall, Chaska and Chanhassen High Schools are taking an important step forward in making sure their theater productions are accessible, inclusive, relevant, and welcoming for everyone in our community. For the first time ever, both high schools will offer sensory-friendly performances of their fall productions. Sensory-friendly performances modify the theater experience to make it possible for those in the community to enjoy a full-length production they might not otherwise be able to attend.
“Theater should be for everyone, and the cast, crew, and staff are excited to be able to make that a possibility for those in our community who may have felt intimidated to attend a show in the past,” Chanhassen and Chaska High School Theater Producer Jane Herget said. “Our students have put so much work into these productions, and the chance to share the excitement of live theater with everyone in our community in a welcoming space is a wonderful opportunity for all of us.”
Chanhassen High School’s sensory-friendly performance of Little Shop of Horrors will be Thursday, November 7th at 4:00 p.m. Chaska High School’s sensory-friendly performance of The Drowsy Chaperone will be Wednesday, November 20th at 4:00 p.m.
The following modifications to the performance will be made:
- A Social Story will be prepared ahead of time that shows in pictures and words what the space looks like, what guests can expect during the show in terms of music, applause, and other effects
- House lights will be dimmed to just 50% and stay that way throughout the production
- The volume of sound effects will be lowered by 20%
- Actors will introduce themselves on stage prior to the show
- There will be a quiet space outside the auditorium for our guests who need it and volunteers will be available to guide guests to that space.
- Members of the audience can move around, or snack, as needed throughout the performance
- There will be a reception following the show where actors answer questions and interact with our guests.
The performances themselves won’t be altered in any way other than adjustments to house lights and volume of sound effects.
Tickets are $10 for all seats, and will be capped at 150 for these two performances to allow plenty of space in the auditorium. Tickets can be purchased HERE.