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Julian Wiles, Founder and Producing Artistic Director
Marybeth Clark, Associate Artistic Director

Sensory-Friendly Performances


Charleston Stage Granted Boeing Vision Award for Sensory-Friendly Performances

Charleston Stage, in residence at the Historic Dock Street Theatre, has been awarded $25,000 from Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts via the Boeing Vision Award for Charleston Stage’s Sensory-Friendly Performances performed at the Dock Street Theatre.

This award through the Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts will help fund Charleston Stage’s sensory-friendly performances for special needs children and their families.

“We are so excited to be able to help Charleston Stage launch this wonderful initiative. Bringing the arts to underserved individuals is critical, and providing an inclusive performing arts experience for everyone will be such a positive addition to our community,” says Mike Gibbons, Executive Director for the Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts (Arts Alliance).

The Boeing Vision Award is given to a non-profit member of the Arts Alliance that has put forth a bold project vision for an innovative arts concept, in particular one that would benefit marginalized or underserved communities.

Charleston Stage was selected by a five-person panel that included members of the arts, education, and business communities, and that was approved by the Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts Board of Directors.

“Charleston Stage is very honored to receive the Boeing Vision Award which will allow us to continue to expand access to our productions.  Charleston Stage is committed to expanding accessibility to all our productions, and this gift in support of Sensory-Friendly performances for three shows next season will allow us to expand this mission. We appreciate the support of both Boeing and the Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts in making these Charleston Stage performances available to the Asperger’s Syndrome/Autistic Community and their families”, says Julian Wiles, Founder and Producing Artistic Director.

This past season, Charleston Stage launched its first ever sensory-friendly performance for special needs children and their families. It was a great success, and thus Charleston Stage is proposing this project as an ongoing initiative for this underserved community by holding one performance for each of our three Family Series productions each season as a sensory-friendly performance.

The goal of this project is to educate and expose children on the Autism Spectrum and others with sensory sensitivities to the enrichment of live professional performing arts.

Children on the Autism Spectrum have what are described as sensory sensitivities. These sensitivities limit the educational exposure to live performing arts due to the nature of theatre etiquette and the large crowds it draws. The lack of exposure to these priceless arts education experiences is something Charleston Stage will remedy with our sensory-friendly performances, the first of its kind in the Lowcountry. By educating and raising these children up, we raise everyone up.

Children, families, teachers and therapists will have the opportunity to attend special live performances of Charleston Stage’s Family Series productions. Materials to enhance the educational value of the performances will accompany these productions.

Modeled after the same projects at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center and Broadway, sensory-friendly performances are specifically designed to be comforting for those with sensory sensitivities. Some of what that entails includes altering the theatre environment, providing a sensory-friendly, comfortable and judgment-free space that is welcoming to all families. The performance itself will be adjusted with special attention paid to lighting and sound.

Sensory-Friendly Performance Dates:
Beneath the Sweetgrass Moon, Nov. 13 at 5pm
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Dec. 10 at 11am
James and the Giant Peach, Jan. 21 at 11am

Sensory-Friendly 3 Play Family Series Package: Now you and your family will enjoy the three sensory-friendly performances listed above for $72 per membership. Purchase online today by clicking here.

Performance Run Times: 1 Hour

How To Purchase Tickets? Tickets for the sensory-friendly performances go on sale September 26. Ticket sales will be available online by clicking on each specific sensory-friendly performance listed on each show calendar. Click on the show names above to access show calendars. You may also purchase tickes in person at the box office or by phone at (843) 577-7183 during box office hours (Monday – Friday from 1pm-5pm). Sensory-friendly 3 Play Family Series Packages are also available for sale by clicking here.

Frequently Asked Questions: Click here to view frequently asked questions for our sensory-friendly performances.








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