Penn State Theatre's first sensory-friendly performances are for a play whose main character is on the autism spectrum
The Penn State School of Theatre’s current production of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” includes two sensory-friendly shows, a first for Penn State theater.
The play about a young boy living with autism includes fast moving scene changes, light-up Tetris blocks, and the sounds of a busy train station.
“We’re trying to make the audience have a sense of the way Christopher senses and perceives the world,” said Rick Lombardo, the director of the Penn State production.
Lombardo said he wanted to embrace playwright Simon Stephens’ original intent to show neurotypical audience members what it’s like to have autism. But Lombardo said making this show accessible to everyone was important, too.
“Art and theatre shouldn’t be a resource that only certain groups feel they are welcome to enjoy,” Lombardo said.
For audience members on the autism spectrum, all the lights and noises might be too stimulating. So the production includes two sensory-friendly shows with limited special effects so people in the autism community can enjoy the play too.
There is one sensory-friendly performance left Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the PlayHouse Theatre on the Penn State campus.