Over 1,000 Families Attend The Smith Center’s Sensory-Friendly Performance of ‘The Lion King’ for Audiences with Special Needs

Over 1,000 Families Attend The Smith Center’s Sensory-Friendly Performance of ‘The Lion King’ for Audiences with Special Needs
The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, announced that over 1,000 Southern Nevada families attended its sensory-friendly performance of Broadway musical Disney’s “The Lion King” on November 17. 

Guests entering Reynolds Hall
Guests entering Reynolds Hall

Marking The Smith Center’s very first sensory-friendly performance of a Broadway production, this performance was specially designed for audiences with sensory sensitivities and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. This included the reduction of jarring noises and lights in the performance, and providing designated areas in the lobby for audience members to take breaks as needed.

Usher and Volunteers entertain guests at Reynolds Hall
Usher and volunteers entertain guests at Reynolds Hall

“It was amazing to see so many community members enjoying this show together in a judgment-free environment, knowing that their families’ special needs would be accommodated and accepted,” said Myron Martin, president and CEO of The Smith Center. “The Smith Center was created to make the performing arts accessible to everyone, and this performance provided just that.”

Audience inside Reynolds Hall
Audience inside Reynolds Hall

The Smith Center’s Education and Outreach Department led efforts for roughly a year with planning how to accommodate sensory-friendly audiences for “The Lion King.” This included consulting with numerous community organizations, and attending sensory-friendly productions across the country.

Inside Reynolds Hall
Inside Reynolds Hall

This performance also followed The Smith Center’s success with presenting its first sensory-friendly performances of a live theater production in April of family show, “Shh! We Have a Plan.”

Organizations from across Southern Nevada provided support and expertise to help The Smith Center present this sensory-friendly performance of “The Lion King,” including: Grant A Gift Autism Foundation, Touro University Nevada Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, University of Nevada Las Vegas Ackerman Center for Autism, FEAT of Southern Nevada, Nevada PEP, Opportunity Village, Sport Social, Wellman Therapy Services, Autism Coalition of Nevada, and the Center for Child and Family Development. Bank of America also provided additional volunteer support.

For more information about The Smith Center and its education and outreach efforts, visit www.TheSmithCenter.com.