This blog post is by Emily Travis, a senior at the Connelly School of the Holy Child in Potomac, Maryland. Emily has an older brother on the autism spectrum.
Hello! My name is Emily Travis and I am a senior at the Connelly School of the Holy Child. I am very proud to announce that for the first time ever, my cast mates and I are performing a sensory-friendly production of Cinderella for people with special sensory needs.
To make the show more enjoyable for the audience, the theatre will be slightly lit, the light effects on stage will be minimized, and the sound volume will be reduced. In addition to these changes, audience members are welcome to stand up to dance and sing as they watch the beautiful world of Cinderella come to life before their eyes.
Although this is my first time participating in a sensory-friendly show, this is not my first time experiencing someone with sensory challenges. I have had the remarkable experience of having an older brother on the autism spectrum. Growing up, I remember my parents trying to troubleshoot new situations so that my brother could enjoy them. Unfortunately, even with a lot of planning, things could get overstimulating for him. It was not unusual for my parents to have to take turns to help him cope in a new situation.
Often, our family would just avoid new situations all together. Sensory friendly performances are an amazing opportunity for families like mine to enjoy theater, concerts, and movies in a setting that is comfortable for everyone. Otherwise, some families would not be able to attend special events together. I am very excited to be part of Holy Child’s performance of Cinderella which not only celebrates the arts, but also celebrates families with sensory challenges.
We look forward to seeing you there!