(October 24, 2014) – Big Apple Circus, Autism Speaks and The Theatre Development Fund’s Autism Theatre Initiative teamed up for the first of eight sensory-friendly performances. The audience at the first New York City performance today seemed impressed by the feats they saw inside the ring - From goats riding ponies to contortionists and high-flying trapeze artists. The house lights were kept on for this special performance and the volume maxed out at 90 dbs. There was also a “calming room” with dim lighting and activities for individuals who needed a break from the action under the big top.
Volunteers greeted families and handed out clown noses, which doubled as stress balls, and clowns were on hand to ease the children and adults into the circus experience. Families did not have to worry if their kids screamed out with excitement or get out of their seats during the show. Autism Speaks held training sessions for the Big Apple Circus cast and crew on how to best accommodate individuals on the spectrum.