A Sensory-Inclusive Season Begins: Performances, Events and Classes For the Neurodiverse Community Expand

November 8, 2022

If Shakespeare was correct that “all the world’s a stage,” the Broward Center for the Performing Arts wants everyone to feel welcome in the theater. The Broward Center 2022/2023 Sensory-Inclusive Season, which launches in November will feature sensory-inclusive shows for children and adults on the autism spectrum as well as for individuals with other sensitivity issues or developmental disabilities. The season also offers engaging classes for neurodiverse children and adults.

“We continue to find ways to remove barriers to the arts and offer arts experiences to everyone in our community,” said Broward Center President and CEO Kelley Shanley. “At the core of our mission is a deep desire to find new ways to use the arts to serve our community in meaningful ways.”

To create a welcoming and supportive environment, sensory-inclusive performances have made slight adjustments to the productions including reduced sound levels, no flashing or strobe lights and minimal special effects. In addition, an area adjacent to the theater has been designated as a Quiet Room with specially trained volunteers to provide audience support.

Audiences coming to the Amaturo Theater and Aventura Center will also enjoy complimentary pre-show arts and crafts provided by Young at Art Museum at most performances, and a post-show character meet & greet. In addition, helpful resources such as a video about what to expect when attending a live performance and a character guide for the show are available on the event page at the BrowardCenter.org.

The Broward Center's Sensory-Inclusive Season and a range of initiatives for the neurodiverse community is made possible through the generous support of The Batchelor Foundation, Nicklaus Children's Hospital, and The Taft Foundation with special thanks to UM-NSU CARD for their in-kind support.

The upcoming Sensory-Inclusive performance will highlight the talents of both teen performers and the adult actors who mentor them, the Broward Center and the Performance Project presents a sensory-inclusive performance of Willy Wonka, TYA on Saturday, December 10 at 11 a.m. The delicious adventures experienced by Charlie Bucket and his grandfather on their visit to Willy Wonka's mysterious chocolate factory light up the stage in this captivating adaptation of Roald Dahl's tale. Featuring the enchanting songs from the 1971 film including “The Candyman,” the musical follows enigmatic candy manufacturer Willy Wonka as he stages a contest by hiding golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars that offering a free tour of the Wonka factory and a potential lifetime supply of candy. Early Bird Tickets start at $10 with $5 lap tickets for children 12 months of age and younger.

As a special holiday treat, Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida presents a sensory-inclusive dance performance with this modified, shortened version of the holiday classic ballet The Nutcracker at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center on Saturday, December 10 at 11 a.m. Company artistic director Vladimir Issaev choreographs and directs the classic ballet to Tchaikovsky's popular score. With dancers of all ages, colorful costumes, and breathtaking music, this hour-long performance celebrates the magic of the season and serves as wonderful introduction to the ballet. The Aventura Arts & Cultural Center is located at 3385 N.E. 188 Street in Aventura. Tickets are $20.

One of the most popular Disney movies of all time captures hearts in a whole new way in this Sensory-Inclusive performance of Cameron Macintosh and Disney’s Mary Poppins in the Amaturo Theater at the Broward Center Saturday, April 1 at 1:30 p.m. Performed by Slow Burn Theatre Company, it’s a Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious musical adventure with everyone's favorite, practically-perfect nanny. Based on the books by P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney film, Mary Poppins, the musical delighted Broadway audiences during more than 2,500 performances and received nominations for nine Olivier and seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The 2022/2023 Slow Burn Theatre Season is presented by American National Bank. Tickets are $20 with $5 lap tickets for children 12 months of age and younger.

The season of sensory-inclusive shows culminates with two interactive concerts by Brazilian Voices in the Abdo New River Room on Saturday, May 5 at 2 and 5 p.m. The gentle, relaxing music invites both young & adult audiences to join this award-winning vocal group. As an added bonus, Brazilian Voices will distribute safe, musical gift items to the audience, including egg shaped shakers with which the audience can play and sing along. Early Bird Tickets start at $10 with $5 lap tickets for children 12 months of age and younger.

The fall lineup of new All Abilities Classes in the Rose Miniaci Arts Education Center are sold out but will return in the spring. These 45-minute classes have limited capacity and feature interactive and engaging arts experiences followed by time to connect over refreshments. To be added to the mailing list for the new dates, contact accessibility@browardcenter.org

The Broward Center in partnership with the Exceptional Theater Company also offers the Special Stars Class each semester for students 16 and above. By utilizing theater techniques, students enhance verbal skills, improve movement, build self-confidence, and advance socialization while stimulating free and independent thinking. Students choose the characters and write the script for the performance that takes place in the JM Family Studio Theater at the end of the session. This class has been generously underwritten by the Michael and Merle Orlove Family Foundation and the Taft Foundation. The next 12-week session begins in January. To learn more or observe a class, contact education@browardcenter.org.

Ticketmaster is the only official ticketing service of the Broward Center and Parker Playhouse. Buy tickets online at: BrowardCenter.org, or Ticketmaster.com; by phone at: 954.462.0222 or in person at the Broward Center’s AutoNation Box Office.

The Broward Center for the Performing Arts is located at 201 SW Fifth Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. For more information visit BrowardCenter.org, like us on Facebook at: Facebook.com/BrowardCenter and Facebook.com/BrowardCenterEducation, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @BrowardCenter, subscribe to our channel at: https://www.youtube.com/user/BrowardCenter and join the conversation with #BrowardCenter.

The Broward Center 2022/2023 season is supported by the Broward Performing Arts Foundation. AutoNation, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, Spirit and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center are proud sponsors of the Broward Center. Programs are also sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment of the Arts.

For more information, visit: https://www.browardcenter.org/