“While many theater productions are driven by showy visuals, loud bangs and huge plot twists, Lincoln Center’s new Big Umbrella Festival is striving to deliver the exact opposite,” writes Andrew Chow in Saturday’s (4/29) New York Times. “The monthlong festival, coming in April 2018, is designed to cater to children on the autism spectrum. The festival’s organizers hope to educate and inspire, and to make theater a safe space for those who may have previously found it less than inviting…. The festival will include the return of ‘Up and Away,’ a [2015] production by the Trusty Sidekick Theater Company…. Set in hot air balloons, the show allowed its young audience to both interact directly with the cast and step outside if they felt overwhelmed.” Theater troupes from Great Britain and Australia will present productions. “The festival will also hold a symposium with the aim of educating companies on how to better serve autistic people [and] improve on New York theater’s recent rocky history with autistic audiences, including when a child was heckled at a Broadway show in 2015.” Click here to read Symphony magazine’s story about orchestra programs for people on the autism spectrum.


Posted May 3, 2017