Wednesday, September 30, 2015

New Victory Theater Offers Family Shows and Autism-Friendly Performances


The New Victory Theater, New York City’s premier performing arts venue dedicated to bringing kids to the arts and the arts to kids, will host a series of autism-friendly performances throughout the 2015-16 season. By offering multiple shows at low ticket prices throughout the season, The New Victory hopes to encourage regular theatergoing for families who desire a relaxed environment for individuals with autism or sensory sensitivity.

In consultation with Autism Friendly Spaces, Inc., select performances of The Gruffalo, Pedal Punk, The Velveteen Rabbit and Caps for Sale the Musical will be modified to accommodate and support the sensory, social and emotional needs of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder:

Tall Stories’ The Gruffalo from London, England
Sunday, October 18, 2015 at 3:00pm
For Ages 4-7, Theater, 55 minutes with no intermission

Cirque Mechanics’ Pedal Punk from Las Vegas, Nevada
Sunday, December 20, 2015 at 5:00pm
For Everyone 5+, Circus, 50 minutes with no intermission

Unicorn Theatre’s The Velveteen Rabbit from London, England
Saturday, January 23, 2016 7:00pm
For Everyone 6+, Theater, 90 minutes including one intermission

Adventure Theatre MTC’s Caps for Sale the Musical from Glen Echo, Maryland
Sunday, February 28, 2016 11:00am
For Ages 4-7, Musical Theater, 60 minutes with no intermission

In order to make the show more accessible to individuals on the autism spectrum and their families, modifications for autism-friendly performances include adjustments to the technical aspects of the show, quiet areas in the lobbies and specialized training for the Front of House staff and ushers; more specifically, New Vic performances will be adapted in the following ways:

  • Sound in the production will be lowered and staff will warn of any upcoming loud noises during the show.
  • Lights in the seating area will be dimmed rather than fully dark during the performance.
  • A Relaxed Atmosphere allows patrons to talk and vocalize as they wish, as well as leave and re-enter the seating area as needed.
  • An Activity Area will be available with a live video feed of the show, coloring sheets and fidget toys if patrons need to take a break from the seating area.
  • A Calming Corner will be available with fidget toys and bean bag chairs if patrons need a quiet place to relax.
  • Autism Specialists will be available throughout the performance to provide assistance as requested or needed.
  • A Family Restroom (gender-neutral) will be designated.
  • Online Resources, such as social narrative and character guides, will be available to help prepare audiences in advance of attending the shows.
Additionally, families who have never been to The New Victory Theater are invited to “meet their seat” in advance of each performance and explore the lobbies and seating areas. Interested families should call 646.223.3023 to arrange for a time.

Through these services, The New Victory looks forward to welcoming families with kids on the autism spectrum to return to the theater again and again to enjoy world-class performing arts together. Visit the New Victory website to learn more about each autism-friendly performance along with all of the shows in the 2015-16 season.

General Ticket Information
For autism-friendly performances at The New Victory Theater, New Victory Member tickets are $17 and full price tickets are $25. Theatergoers who buy tickets for three or more New Victory shows qualify for free Membership, with benefits including 35% savings on tickets all season long and unlimited free ticket exchanges. Tickets are available online (NewVictory.org) and by telephone (646.223.3010). The New Victory Theater box office (209 West 42nd Street) will be open Sunday and Monday from 11am-5pm and Tuesday through Saturday from 12pm-7pm.

About Autism Friendly Spaces, Inc.
Autism Friendly Spaces, Inc. is a New York-based nonprofit whose mission is to transform spaces and open minds to welcome the full participation of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder in all aspects of life. Autism Friendly Spaces strives to create a world in which all individuals have full access to everything and anything they want or need to do. The organization works with institutions to make both their physical spaces and the services they provide accommodating and accepting to people with developmental disabilities. Whether it is training airport personnel, modifying a Broadway show or reconfiguring a local grocery store, Autism Friendly Spaces unlocks previously unimaginable opportunities.

About The New Victory Theater
The New Victory celebrates its 20th Anniversary season of bringing kids to the arts and the arts to kids as New York City’s premier theater devoted to the highest quality performing arts for kids and families. Serving the community in all its diversity, The New Victory Theater on 42nd Street presents theater, dance, circus, opera and music from around the world at affordable ticket prices. In addition to its public performances, the New Vic is also the largest provider of live performance to NYC school kids, serving 40,000 youth through more than 200 schools, after school programs and day camps each year. The New Victory has been recognized for its contributions to the cultural landscape of the city. Awards include a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award presented by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities for the NEW VICTORY Usher Corps, which provides paid employment to approximately 50 NYC teens each year, the national Arts Education Award from Americans for the Arts and a Special Award from The Drama Desk for “providing enchanting, sophisticated children’s theater that appeals to the child in all of us, and for nurturing a love of theater in young people.”

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Our reviews are professional reviews written without a religious bias. At the end of them, you can find a listing of language, content or theological issues that Christians might want to know about when deciding which shows to see.

** Mature indicates that the show has posted an advisory because of content. Usually this means I would recommend no one under the age of 16 attend.

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/.

She is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection (http://ctarts.blogspot.com), an award-winning website featuring theater and arts news for the state. She is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com and is a theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer. She previously served as Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp.com and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web.

Yarger is a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly and freelances for other sites. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

She is a freelance writer and playwright and member of The Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association and The League of Professional Theatre Women. She served as a judge for the SDX Awards presented by the Society of Professional Journalists. She also is a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle and the CT Press Club.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.

Copyright

All material is copyright 2008- 2017 by Lauren Yarger. Reviews and articles may not be reprinted without permission. Contact reflectionsinthelight@gmail.com

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Key to Content Notes:

God's name taken in vain -- means God or Jesus is used in dialogue without speaking directly to or about them.

Language -- means some curse words are used. "Minor" usually means the words are not too strong or that it only occurs once or twice throughout the show.

Strong Language -- means some of the more heavy duty curse words are used.

Nudity -- means a man or woman's backside, a man's lower front or a woman's front are revealed.

Scantily clad -- means actors' private areas are technically covered, but I can see a lot of them.

Sexual Language -- means the dialogue contains sexually explicit language but there's no action.

Sexual Activity -- means a man and woman are performing sexual acts.

Adultery -- Means a married man or woman is involved sexually with someone besides their spouse. If this is depicted with sexual acts on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Sex Outside of Marriage -- means a man and woman are involved sexually without being married. If this is depicted sexually on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Homosexuality -- means this is in the show, but not physically depicted.

Homosexual activity -- means two persons of the same sex are embracing/kissing. If they do more than that, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Cross Dresser -- Means someone is dressing as the opposite sex. If they do more than that on stage the listing would include the corresponding "sexual activity" and/or "homosexual activity" as well.

Cross Gender -- A man is playing a female part or a woman is playing a man's part.

Suggestive Dancing -- means dancing contains sexually suggestive moves.

Derogatory (category added Fall 2012) Language or circumstances where women are referred to or treated in a negative and demeaning manner.

Other content matters such as torture, suicide or rape will be noted, with details revealed only as necessary in the review itself.

The term "throughout" added to any of the above means it happens many times throughout the show.

Reviewing Policy

I receive free seats to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows made available to all voting members of the Outer Critics Circle and The Drama Desk, the two professional critics organizations with journalists covering NY theater. Journalistically, I provide an unbiased review and am under no obligation to make positive statements. Sometimes shows do not make tickets available to reviewers. If these are shows my readers want to know about (I review all Broadway shows and pertinent Off-Broadway shows), I will purchase a ticket. If a personal friend is involved in a production, I'll let you know, but it won't influence a review. If I feel there is a conflict, I won't review their portion of the production.

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