Broadway Shows, Theater, and Musicals
Sensory Friendly shows are slowly coming back! The special needs community can now go and enjoy theater shows and musical performances where there is no judgement. These shows are sensory friendly, Autism friendly and special needs accessible. Typically, the lights will be on, the sound will be lowered, and kids can move about. These theaters offer some or all accommodations: wheelchair seating, listening devices, large print program, and sign language interpretation. Please visit the theaters’ accessibility webpage. Go take your child to see one of these shows throughout the New Jersey and New York City areas.
Here are the venues that offer Sensory Friendly Performances. Many are coming back with shows this 2022. Keep checking their schedules as they plan on adding on more performances.
Special astronomy and music shows designed for families with children on the Autism spectrum or those with developmental disabilities. Judgment free space, door remains open, lights dimmed, and audio lowered. Check our website for upcoming shows.
Lamington Road Branchburg, NJ, 908.231.8805
The Sky Above, Sensory-Friendly program
Saturdays, February 5, March 5, April 2, May 7, 2022 @ 5:00 pm
Welcome to a comfortable and judgement-free zone to learn some astronomy. This sensory-friendly astronomy and music show is specially designed for families with children on the Autism spectrum and other developmental disorders. Neurotypical children are welcome as well. The program is presented on a kindergarten level, but all ages are welcome. Enjoy music, laser lights, stories, and information about the planets, Moon, and constellations. During the show, the doors remain open so children may leave and return if they choose. Lights are kept dim (instead of dark) and music is at a consistent level.
Sensory shows are offered throughout the year. Check their website for any upcoming events. 30 North Van Brunt Street, Englewood, NJ, 201.227.1030
Offers sensory friendly relaxed performances with dimmed lights, lowered sound, and freedom to talk and walk about. Check our website for upcoming shows. 100 South St, Morristown, NJ, 973.539.8008.
For Autism friendly performances, rules are relaxed to accommodate individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. House lights are dimmed, sound lowered, kids can talk and leave seats, chill-out zone, meet your seat Open Houses before actual show date, on-site support teams. 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ, 973.376.4343.
The Wanderer @ Paper Mill Playhouse
April 17, 2022 @ 1:30PM, April 23 @ 1:30PM (Audio-described performances with sensory seminars @ 12PM allows patrons with vision loss to feel props, set pieces and costumes)
April 24, 2022 @ 7PM (Open-Captioned performances)
He’s coming back around after a postponement in the spring of 2020. Dion. One name set the standard of cool for a generation. An Italian-American kid from the Bronx, Dion DiMucci skyrocketed to fame as a teenage heartthrob in the 1950s and early ’60s with hits like “Runaround Sue,” “Teenager in Love,” and “I Wonder Why.” Now, his extraordinary journey comes to the stage in a moving and intimate new musical about a life lived in the glow of the spotlight and in the shadow of addiction. Starring Michael Wartella (Chasing Rainbows) as Dion, Christy Altomare (Anastasia), and Joey McIntyre (Wicked, Waitress, New Kids on the Block), and directed by Kenneth Ferrone (FOX’s Rent and Grease Live!)
Sister Act @ Paper Mill Playhouse
June 25 & 26, 2022 @ 1:30PM (Audio-described performances with sensory seminars @ 12PM allows patrons with vision loss to feel props, set pieces and costumes))
June 26, 2022 @ 7PM (Open-captioned performances)
Finally, the sisters will sing after a postponement in the spring of 2020. Based on the 1992 hit film, this feel-good musical comedy smash sizzles with powerful music, spectacular dancing, and a story that’s guaranteed to lift your spirits. The madcap plot is set in motion when disco diva Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder and must go into hiding in a convent, where she helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she unexpectedly rediscovers her own. Featuring original music by Tony- and eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken (Newsies, Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors), Sister Act was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
Sensory-friendly performances allow families with children on the autism spectrum or with other sensory sensitivities to enjoy live entertainment. Lighting and sound reduced, judgment free, break area with fidget toys, and volunteers to assist. 15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ, 732.246.7469.
Union County Performing Arts Center Sensory Friendly Theatre
Sensory friendly events are 60 minutes, lights are on, sound volume is constant and lowered, children can talk, private area to relax, fidget and stress sensory toys, and Autism specialists on hand to help. Brought to you by the Union County Board of County Commissioners and the City of Rahway, Sensory Friendly Theatre (SFT) is a series of live performances specially designed and adapted for children with autism and similar sensory sensitivity.1601 Irving Street, Rahway, NJ, 732.499.8226.
Pete The Cat
April 24, 2022 @ 1Pm
For Pete the Cat, life is an adventure no matter where you wind up. So the minute the groovy blue cat meets The Biddles, he gets the whole family rocking. That is, except for young Jimmy Biddle, the most organized second grader on planet Earth.
But when Jimmy draws a blank in art class during the last week of school, it turns out Pete is the perfect pal to help him out. Together, they set out on a mission to help Jimmy conquer second grade art, and along the way, they both learn a little something new about inspiration. Join Jimmy and Pete on an adventure of friendship, all the way to Paris and back in a VW Bus! For Pre- K – 3.
New Jersey’s Ballet’s Cinderella
May 7, 2022 @ 1PM
One of New Jersey Ballet’s most popular productions for children, Cinderella is a two-act romp through the well-known fairy tale in which a girl loses a dancing slipper and finds happily ever after with a prince. See the hours of the clock come to life and dance, a Fairy Godmother and beautiful Fairies of the Four seasons in the enchanted garden, and the pumpkin which turns into a coach before your very eyes! Splendid sets and costumes, glorious dancing, New Jersey Ballet’s hallmark “Storyteller” narration makes sure even the littlest theater-goers can keep up with ease.
Broadway Shows - New York City
Accessibility to popular Broadway shows. Autism friendly performances for children and adults with Autism, other sensitivity issues, and their families. Dimmed lights, sounds are lowered; audience may leave seats, break areas, Autism specialists on hand. 212.912.9770.
Some of the many autism-friendly performances on Broadway since then include Mary Poppins, Spider-Man, Wicked, Matilda, Phantom of the Opera, Aladdin and more. TDF's autism-friendly performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was the first autism-friendly performance of a non-musical in Broadway history.
Beyond Broadway, TDF' works with theaters across the country as part of its National Autism Friendly Performances to help create environments that are accessible to all.
Offers sensory friendly shows for those with Autism and other special needs disabilities. Check our website for upcoming shows.
1000 Morris Ave., Union, NJ, 908.737.7469.
Aladdin on May 1, 2022, 1PM
These relaxed performances are adapted for neurodiverse audiences, including young people with autism and other disabilities. No restrictions around noise or movement. Clark Studio Theater, 165 West 65th Street, New York, NY.
Lighting and sound adapted to accommodate sensory sensitivities. Autism specialists available for assistance. 209 W 42nd Street, New York, NY, 646.223.3010.