First sensory friendly production of The Nutcracker ballet announced

The Thomas Armour Youth Ballet and the New World School of the Arts have announced Miami’s first sensory friendly production of The Nutcracker ballet.

The production is presented with guidance and support from the Miami Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and its All Kids Included Program (AKI). Changes have been made environmentally and technically to meet the sensory needs of children with autism or autism-related disorders. The whole family is encouraged to attend.

Adaptations include:

• Softened lighting (no strobe or sudden flashes). House lights will not go to black before the curtains open, as the result is normally an explosion of loud clapping and cheering. House lights will remain at a low level for the duration of the performance.

• The volume of the music will be somewhat reduced. Noise reducing headsets will be available. Children are encouraged to bring their own headsets if they have them and use them in similar situations.

A “quiet room” will be available with live stream video of the performance.

• Inclusion specialists from CCDH will be at the theater to assist.

A performance guide is available from the All Kids Included program to prepare new audiences for a live ballet performance

The performance is Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 10 a.m., at Miami Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler St. There is plenty of free parking behind the theater. Tickets are $7. To make a reservation, go to www.thomasarmouryouthballet.org/reservation-form/ This is the first time that a production of this size has attempted to adapt the environment and technical details to meet the needs of the autistic and ARD community.

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