Northwest Children's Theater offering 'sensory friendly' product - KPTV - FOX 12

Northwest Children's Theater offering 'sensory friendly' productions

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PORTLAND, OR (AP) -

A Portland theater troupe is opening its doors to kids with special needs, tailoring their performances specifically to them.

Northwest Children's Theater offers the only "sensory friendly" productions in the state, with plays like "Sleeping Beauty with Puppets" slightly altered to accommodate children with sensitivities to light, sounds, and other sensory stimuli.

"We believe that all children should experience, have the opportunity to experience theater, because live storytelling is a really important part of developing a child's imagination," said Sarah Jane Hardy, NWCT Artistic Director.

Hardy said the goal is for the performance to be as close to the original as possible, with some slight modifications to account for the audience's sensitivities.

During a recent performance at the theater, for instance, the house lights were kept up, and families were given extra space for kids to move around if they can't sit still.

In some cases, ushers stand at the front of the stage with glow sticks, signaling to parents if there's a particularly loud or startling transitional moment coming up.

The performances are underwritten by local sponsors, so admission for families who attend is free.

The shows are quite popular, with waiting lists for every production.

For more information about the productions, visit nwcts.org.

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