Mar 28, 2023 - Things to Do

Charlotte Ballet’s “Peter Pan” will include a free, sensory-friendly performance

When Charlotte Ballet performs “Peter Pan” in April, the run will include a special show that’s designed for individuals with sensory sensitivities like Down Syndrome or autism.

Driving the news: The sensory-friendly performance is April 25 at noon at the Knight Theater.

  • Tickets are free (the program is underwritten by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of North Carolina) and can be reserved by calling the Charlotte Ballet at 704-348-5752.

Why it matters: For families of those with sensory sensitivities, this may be the first time that everyone can attend the ballet together.

What they’re saying: “At one of our sensory-friendly shows, a little girl came up to me and said, ‘I’m a dancer, but my brother’s never been able to see me perform because we get worried since he makes a lot of noise. I know I was supposed to watch the stage, but I was just watching him enjoy the ballet so much,'” says Kimberly Pereira, Charlotte Ballet’s director of education and community engagement.

Zoom out: Since 2016, Charlotte Ballet has aimed to offer one or two of these two sensory-friendly performances each season.

Details: The show is designed to create an inclusive, comfortable environment for those with sensory sensitivities.

  • The abbreviated performance will run for 90 minutes, which includes an extended intermission.
  • It will use pre-recorded music for volume control, and the house lights will remain at half brightness.
  • Patrons are allowed to come and go during the performance and can make use of designated quiet areas.
  • Ushers, volunteers and dancers are trained by sensory sensitivity experts to ensure that they’re providing the best experience for the families in attendance.
  • Organizations like Gigi’s Playhouse and Autism Speaks will be on hand to offer information.

Of note: Before you head to the theater, visit the Charlotte Ballet website and download the free social narrative, which introduces the story of “Peter Pan” and covers what to expect during the show.

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