Family Friendly Shows: Sensory Friendly • Autism-Friendly • Relaxed Performance
You will find more and more theaters catering to you! Enjoy high-quality live entertainment in a safe, supportive, sensory-friendly environment. For children diagnosed with sensitivity issues, theaters have made slight adjustments to the production. At a sensory friendly relaxed performance, you will find lighting and sound levels that are modulated to reduce anxiety and stress; a judgment-free environment with a relaxed attitude toward noise and moving around during the show; a separate break area with soft seating, fidget toys and activities, and even ushers and volunteers who have been trained to assist. We hope you enjoy this list of upcoming shows at theaters throughout our state. Please call ahead to confirm show dates and times, as they are subject to change. Each performance venue may differ from others.
30 North Van Brunt Street, Englewood, NJ 07631
Accessibility: Audio Description select performance, Braille program, Infrared hearing devices are available to provide hearing amplification, Large Print programs, mobility access, Open Captioning is available for select performances, Sign Interpretation is available upon request for any performance.
- Dec 2, 2pm. New Jersey Ballet's Nutcracker. Audio Described Performance technology available for those interested. That option can be included at no extra charge.
Mayo Performing Arts Center
100 South St, Morristown, 973.539.8008.
Special Needs Friendly Shows. These relaxed performances will have lights up, modified sound, a quiet room and the ability to get out of your seat so children with special needs may share in this family experience.
- Mar 3. Brady Rymer and the Little Band that Could
Brady Rymer performs rockin’ music for kids and families. When not moonlighting as a member of The Laurie Berkner Band, Brady’s pop and rock...
- Apr 25. Dragons Love Tacos and Other Stories
This musical revue brings to life five beloved children’s books: Dragons Love Tacos, Interrupting Chicken, The Dot, Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride...
Paper Mill Playhouse
22 Brookside Drive, Millburn. 973.376.4343.
Accessibility: sign-interpreted performances, open-captioned performances, wheelchair seating, audio description & sensory seminars, Braille and large-print programs.
- Dec 15-16. Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn
- In this musical based on the beloved Bing Crosby/Fred Astaire film, Jim Hardy leaves behind the hustle and bustle of showbiz for a quiet life on a Connecticut farm
- Feb 24. Mar 2-3. My Very Own British Invasion
A fable of young love set against the backdrop of the exploding 1960s music scene – when England launched the little dust-up that became known as The British Invasion.
- Apr 28. May 4-5. Benny and Joon
Based on the 1993 film starring Johnny Depp and Mary Stuart Masterson, this new musical is a smart, funny, tender-hearted celebration of love: between children and parents; romantic partners; friends; and, most of all, siblings.
- Jun 22-23. Disney's Beauty and the Beast
Singing teapots and candlesticks, an evil spell, and an unlikely love story are all part of the magic of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
Shea Center for Performing Arts at William Patterson University
300 Pompton Rd, Wayne, 973.720.3178.
- Dec 5. Pete The Cat
Based on the popular book series by Kimberly and James Dean, this rollicking musical follows Pete the groovy blue cat and Jimmy Biddle on a new adventure of friendship and inspiration.
State Theatre New Jersey
15 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick, 732.246.7469.
Autism-Relaxed Performances designed to create a safe, welcoming environment for people with autism or other sensory sensitivities. There will be ushers and volunteers specially trained to assist you.
- Dec 1. Alex & The Kaleidoscope
- Take a new look at our beautiful world through the kaleidoscope of Emmy® Award-winning children's entertainer Alex Mitnick and his bandmates. Join them on a journey that celebrates the treasures of our planet. Clap along, sing, dance, and improvise with the band in this delightful, interactive concert of original songs. It’s an uplifting, feel-good concert that will leave you more connected to yourself, others, and the world around you!
- Mar 30. B—the Underwater Bubble Show
Explore the wondrous underwater world of Bubblelandia and all its beautiful sea creatures in B—The Underwater Bubble Show! Bring the family and meet Mr. B along with his underwater inhabitants of seahorses, dragon fish, starfish, and mermaids, as you take an imaginary journey through the deep blue sea. Inspired by childhood favorites like Alice in Wonderland, The Little Mermaid, and Peter Pan, B—The Underwater Bubble Show is a lavish musical production featuring dancers and acrobats, original music, and fantastic stage effects including lasers, low ground smoke, flying foam, and soap bubbles to create a dreamlike underwater atmosphere.
Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College
118 Lamington Rd, Raritan. 908.725.3420.
The sensory friendly performances are designed for children with autism or related sensory conditions. The theatre provides a safe and judgment free environment that is great for all families.
- Feb 9. Emily Brown and the Thing Tall Stories
- This magical show, based on the much-loved book by Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton, features great songs, clever puppets and lovable characters that audiences of all ages will adore.
- Feb 22. The Bright Siders
Created by award-winning songwriter Kristin Andreassen and Brooklyn child psychiatrist Dr. Kari Groff, The Bright Siders present music that helps kids and families have meaningful conversations about emotions.
- Mar 3. Shadow Play Trusty Sidekick
What happens to your shadow while you sleep? Featuring innovative lighting and charming video animations, this original play sends audiences on a thrilling multimedia, non-verbal adventure to answer that very question.
- Apr 12. Illusionist Kevin Spencer
A world-renowned illusionist with dozens of accolades to his credit, Kevin Spencer brings audiences a relaxed, family-friendly performance brimming with fast-paced magic and illusion guaranteed to capture the imagination.
Two River Theater
21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank. 732.345.1400.
Accessibility: Assistive Listening Devices, Large print programs. Scheduled audio description performances, open captioned performances, American Sign Language interpreted performances, relaxed performances.
- Dec 5, 8. August Wilson's King Hedley II
- The year is 1985. King Hedley II has returned from prison looking to rebuild his life, save some money, plant a backyard garden, and start a family. Don’t miss this powerful and evocative look at how hope springs from even the hardest of soil.
- Jan 26. A Little Shakespeare: Macbeth
Celebrating its 6th season as one of Two River’s most popular education programs, A Little Shakespeare engages young artists and audiences with the work of the Bard in a 75-minute adaptation performed by local high school students who work with professional theater artists. Sara Holdren, director of last season's A Little Shakespeare: The Comedy of Errors, adapts and directs the haunted tale of Macbeth, a soldier whose encounter with three mysterious witches begins a violent quest for power and the crown.
Union County Performing Arts
1601 Irving Street, Rahway. 732.499-8226