Disney Theatrical Productions is proud to be partnering with Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect), the Capitol Theatre and Ticketmaster to offer a relaxed performance of Beauty and the Beast on Saturday the 18th of November at 1:30 pm. This unique and inclusive performance will be tailored, from start to finish, to support audience members who may need specific support.
A relaxed performance means that audience members will be encouraged to be completely themselves during the performance; to make sounds, move around, fidget or use noise cancelling headphones.
Aspect’s Autistic staff assessed the show and recommended modifications for the relaxed performance so people with sensory sensitivities are considered and cared for at all touchpoints. Adjustments include a visual story that explains the show step by step, inclusive and welcoming language used on the official website and during the ticket buying process, increased staff and volunteers to assist audience members, turning off all announcements throughout the theatre, and providing a quiet room and quiet spaces equipped with sensory coping tools. Amendments to the production for the cast and crew include noise reduction, keeping the house lights dim during the performance, and employing visual cues to act as a ‘pre-warning’ mechanism prior to potentially overwhelming scenes or moments.
A short pre-show welcome has been designed to introduce the audience to certain characters and stage effects that may be sensorially significant in advance. For example, the character of Lumiere’s hands are candles that light up with real fire, which will be explained in an approachable and respectful way to get the audience ready for the performance ahead.
The Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Kylie Watson-Wheeler, said: “The Walt Disney Company is proud to have worked alongside our incredible partners in Aspect, the Capitol Theatre and Ticketmaster to offer a relaxed performance of Beauty and the Beast. This tale as old as time is powerful and inspiring and we’re excited it can be offered in accessible and inclusive ways for everyone to enjoy.”
Aspect’s Autistic Consultant Emma Gallagher added; “As an Autistic consultant, it was my pleasure to attend a regular session of Beauty and the Beast in order to provide feedback on the show and the experience along with another Autistic colleague. We conducted this assessment in order to make recommendations on modifications that will allow Autistic people and others with a disability to be able to access and enjoy the show. Representatives from Disney and the Capitol Theatre have welcomed all feedback and worked hard to ensure that feedback from Autistic people is highly valued and have implemented many changes that will make the relaxed session a fun experience for those who may not be able to attend a regular session due to sensory overload. I am looking forward to attending the relaxed session knowing I have a quiet space when I need it.”
Ticketmaster Australia Managing Director, Gavin Taylor said: “We applaud Disney Theatrical Productions for paving the way forward in this space, and for driving positive change. Ticketmaster is committed to working alongside Disney to develop experiences that cater to a wider demographic of people with disability and making live entertainment accessible for all. We look forward to partnering with them on this project.”
Tickets to the relaxed performance will be available across three price points, $50, $80 and $120 with no additional ticketing fees. All ticketing fees for this performance will be donated by Foundation Theatres and Ticketmaster to Aspect.
In November, Beauty and the Beast will also host Audio Described and Auslan Interpreted performances. More information about these performances can be found at beautyandthebeastmusical.com.au/accessibility-inclusion/
Tickets are on sale now exclusively via Ticketmaster.