‘Relaxed Performances’ is breaking down barriers at Broadway shows

Posted at 7:33 PM, Mar 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-22 19:33:46-04

NEW YORK -- Breaking down barriers at Broadway shows -- it's called Relaxed Performances.

The shows are tailored to welcome both kids and adults with special needs.

Many families with special needs do not go to the theater because certain sounds and bright lights can be overwhelming.

Relaxed Performances are shows that are sensory friendly. The sound levels are reduced, the house lights always remain on.

Sarah Hom, the director of audience services for Roundabout Theater, says the audience is also not required to sit in their seat.

“People can move about, enter and exit, move to another seat or just take a break in the lobby," Hom said.

This year, audiences were already treated to "Roundabout Theater Company's" Relaxed Performance of "True West" starring Ethan Hawke.

Jessie Austrian, who is starring in "Merrily We Roll Along" has been part of several Relaxed Performances and says it's a new way to a bond with theater-goers.

As for the parents, their worries are whisked away for a couple hours.

The next Relaxed Performance, "Merrily We Roll Along," will be March 30, and is presented by the "Roundabout Theater Company."