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Sensory-friendly 'A Christmas Carol' first of its kind in Ohio (interview)

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On Wednesday, November 27, 2013, Great Lakes Theater (GLT) will present a sensory-friendly performance of “A Christmas Carol” at the Ohio Theatre in PlayhouseSquare. This special matinee for children/adults on the autism spectrum and their families is the first offering of its kind in Ohio.

Todd Krispinsky, GLT’s Marketing and Public Relations Director, gave a peek into what this means for GLT's 25th anniversary production about Ebenezer Scrooge's visit from three ghosts on Christmas Eve.

Kate Miller: So what does a "sensory-friendly" performance entail?

Todd Krispinsky: At this performance, special accommodations will be made, including a supportive audience environment, designated quiet areas, adjustments to light and sound levels… and online pre-performance materials to assist families in preparing before their visit.

KM: Has GLT done other sensory-friendly shows or similar?
TK: This is the first sensory-friendly performance that Great Lakes Theater has ever offered. We believe that it is the first such performance in the state of Ohio. We are proud to connect new audiences to live theater and the classics.

KM: How did you come to partner with so many organizations to make this happen?
TK: Partnership is at the heart of everything that we do at Great Lakes Theater. When we work together with our community, creatively and collaboratively, anything is possible. Our mission is to bring the pleasure, power and relevance of classic theater to the widest possible audience. This initiative just seemed a natural fit. Autism is a challenge that impacts thousands of families throughout northeast Ohio and globally. And the response to this special matinee has been extraordinary. In exploring how to present such a performance, we reached out to the organizations in our community with expertise regarding the subject…folks that intimately understood the opportunities and challenges of serving these amazing members of our region best. Maximizing all of our strengths as partners, we are confident that we will create a magical and memorable experience for this underserved audience and their families.

The sensory-friendly performance of “A Christmas Carol” will take place in the Ohio Theatre at PlayhouseSquare on Wednesday, November 27th at 11:00 a.m. The performance is coordinated in partnership with Theatre Development Fund: Autism Theatre Initiative, the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities and Milestones Autism Organization, the exclusive performance for patrons on the autism spectrum is the first professional theater offering of its kind in the state of Ohio.

Tickets for this performance are available at a special discounted rate of $15 (General Admission) and are subject to availability. For complete information, including links to download online preparation materials, or to order tickets, visit (Please Note: Tickets for this performance are available for children and adults on the autism spectrum and their families only.)


Do you have a Cleveland area performing arts story? Contact KATE MILLER at with your idea. For consideration, please introduce yourself before forwarding your release or launching your pitch.


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