LEWISBURG, W.V. (LOOTPRESS) – At 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 4, the Greenbrier Valley Theater (GVT) will offer a sensory-friendly performance designed for viewers- both young and old- with sensory input disorders, autism, or other developmental, cognitive and physical disabilities. Families and caretakers are also welcome to attend.
Kiersten White, Greenbrier Valley Theater Education Director, says the theater has offered sensory-friendly performances in the past, but they are currently working to make theater accessible to all by offering more of these types of performances.
“One of the things that we hope is that theater is accessible to all, and that can mean different things for different people,” she said.
According to White, GVT has researched the way other theaters have prioritized accessible productions, which can include allowing viewers to come in and see the space beforehand or ask questions about what they can expect during the show.
Saturday’s production is Furry Tails with a Twist by Jennifer Hickok DeFratis. The production features two helpless actors, Sam and Alex, who try to tell a few beloved fairy tale classics but need everyone’s help when their stories keep getting twisted.
The audience will learn creative story-telling while they enjoy faced-paced, interactive fun.
To make the performance sensory-friendly, White says the theater will be lowering the volume, keeping the lights on, reducing loud noises, allowing the viewers to move around the space and preparing the actors for general responses by the audience.
Viewers are also encouraged to bring noise-cancelling headphones or other needed tools to make the performance more enjoyable.
While past sensory-friendly performances have been received well, White says they are hoping to continue to boost attendance to these types of productions.
“Our productions always have a learning tool. It’s important that everyone should have access to that information, so we are reaching out to those people who need that and seeing what specific needs they have.”
Although Saturday’s performance is geared toward those with sensory input disorders, you do not have to have accessibility needs to attend the performance.
“It’s open to everyone,” White said. “It can still be a super fun time no matter who you are!”
Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling the GVT box office at 304-645-3838 or online here. After the performance, kids can take home food grab bags with gluten-free and peanut-free options.