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10 Tips for Taking Children with Special Needs to the Theater

Amy Long Carrera, MS, RD, CNSC, CWCMS
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist | Shield HealthCare
08/12/16  11:01 AM PST
children with special needs

Taking children with special needs to theater shows can be exciting, fun and a little bit scary. Follow these helpful tips to get the most out of the experience for you and your family.

This article was written by Max Granitz for The Friendship Circle

Read the full article at The Friendship Circle

 

Here are three bonus tips from our resident theater actor, Julian Perez!

1. Choose your show wisely.

Some shows, such as Disney’s Newsies, have very large numbers with many people on stage dancing and jumping and making big movements. This may be intimidating from up close. If you are worried about seeing the actors, don’t. Stage actors are trained to “perform for the man in the back,” meaning they make big exaggerated movements because they are trying to make it look just as big from the back of the audience.

 

2. Expect the unexpected.

You may think you know a show front and back, but sometimes improvisations can lead to what is called a “band vamp.” This is when the actor drops a line or two or doesn’t start their song on time.  The band will then “vamp,” which can get quite loud since they are giving the actor their cue. Sit farther back from the orchestra pit until you know what your child can handle.

 

3. Watch out for the grand finale.

Be prepared for when the show ends and the actors bow. The band may suddenly play more loudly to give the actors time to bow. This can be scary for a child who is sensitive to sudden, loud noises. Also, the audience may decide to give a standing ovation during the bows. It can be intimidating seeing a monstrous forest of people sprout up from their seats hooting and hollering, so make sure your child feels secure.

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