Industry Press / 05.30.23
TDF Presents First-Ever Autism Friendly Performance of the Broadway Smash Hit Musical Six For Families with Children and Adults on the Autism Spectrum
New York, New York– May 30, 2023 – TDF, the not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts, will host the first-ever autism-friendly performance of the Broadway smash musical hit, SIX on Sunday, June 11 at 1pm at the Lena Horne Theatre (256 West 47th Street, NYC). Tailored for families with members on the autism spectrum or with other developmental or cognitive disabilities, this special matinee will be presented through TDF's Autism Friendly Performances program (AFP).
Visit TDF.org/autism to learn more about TDF Autism Friendly Performances and to sign up to receive emails announcing upcoming performances.
“It is always exciting to present a new show to our audience of individuals with children and adults on the autism spectrum or with other developmental or cognitive disabilities. So we are so happy to end this 2022-23 season of autism friendly performances with the fabulous musical, SIX,” said Lisa Carling, Director of TDF Accessibility Programs. “We are so grateful to the production team of SIX for being so welcoming, as they were recently to a full house of NYC public school students participating in TDF’s Introduction to Theatre Program. It is going to be an incredible day!”
“It is going to be a joyous and very special afternoon in the theatre and SIX can’t wait to be a part of it,” said the show’s producer, Kevin McCollum.
TDF AUTISM FRIENDLY PERFORMANCES launched in 2011 with a special performance of Disney’s The Lion King on Broadway. Since then, there have been AFP of Broadway's Aladdin, Cats, Come From Away, Elf: The Musical, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Kinky Boots, Mary Poppins, Matilda, My Fair Lady, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The King and I, The Phantom of the Opera and Wicked.
The program operates under the umbrella of TDF Accessibility Programs. To create an autism-friendly setting, the shows are performed in a supportive environment for children and adults diagnosed with autism or other sensory sensitivities and their families. Slight adjustments are made to the productions, where possible, including the reduction of jarring sounds and strobe lights focused into the audience. In the theatre lobby, there are staffed break areas in case audience members need to leave their seats during the performance. For AFP, TDF purchases every seat in the theatre and makes the tickets available at discount prices exclusively to families, groups, schools, etc. whose members include individuals on the autism spectrum.
The current AFP season began with an autism friendly performance of The Lion King on October 2 and followed with George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker on November 27 at 1 p.m., Wicked on February 12, 2023 at 1 p.m. and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on April 30, 2023 at 1 p.m.
ABOUT TDF ACCESSIBILITY PROGRAMS
TDF Accessibility Programs make theatregoing possible for people with physical disabilities as well as individuals on the autism spectrum. The full range of services includes Autism Friendly Performances of Broadway productions; accessible seating for those with mobility issues; and open captioned, American sign language-interpreted and audio described performances of Broadway and Off-Broadway shows for theatregoers who are Deaf or have hearing loss, are blind or have low vision. TDF also trains theatres in the US and abroad on how to set up open captioning programs and autism-friendly shows and offers an educational enrichment program for students who are Deaf, hard of hearing, blind or have low vision. TDF partnered with The Broadway League to develop the website TheatreAccess.NYC, the official site for accessibility information for Broadway shows.
ABOUT SIX: SIX is the Tony Award®-winning hit musical by Tony Award®-winners Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss currently playing at the Lena Horne Theatre (256 W 47th St, NYC) on Broadway. From Tudor Queens to Pop Icons, the SIX wives of Henry VIII take the microphone to remix five hundred years of historical heartbreak into a Euphoric Celebration of 21st century girl power! This new original musical is the global sensation that everyone is losing their head over! SIX is co-directed by Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage and features choreography by Carrie-Anne Ingrouille. The design team includes Emma Bailey (Scenic Design), Tony Award®-winner Gabriella Slade (Costume Design), Tim Deiling (Lighting Design), and Paul Gatehouse (Sound Design). The Broadway cast features Hailee Kaleem Wright as Catherine of Aragon, Leandra Ellis-Gaston as Anne Boleyn, Bella Coppola as Jane Seymour, Nasia Thomas as Anna of Cleves, Zoe Jensen as Katherine Howard, and Taylor Iman Jones as Catherine Parr. The cast also includes Marilyn Caserta, Ayla Ciccone-Burton, Holli’ Conway, Kristina Leopold, and Aubrey Matalon as Alternates.
ABOUT TDF: Founded in 1968, TDF (formerly known as Theatre Development Fund) is a not-for-profit service organization dedicated to bringing the power of the performing arts to everyone. TDF’s mission is to sustain live theatre and dance by engaging a broad and diverse audience and eliminating barriers to attendance. We fulfill our mission with a variety of programs that expand access, cultivate communities and support the makers of the performing arts.
We are known for our theatregoing programs, including the TKTS by TDF Discount Booths (which celebrate 50 years in Times Square on June 28) and the TDF Membership program; Accessibility programs (including open captioning, audio description, Autism Friendly Performances and the Veterans Theatregoing Program), Education & Community Engagement programs (serving more than 12,000 New York City students annually and thousands of underserved individuals), as well as the TDF Costume Collection Rental and Research Programs. TDF envisions a world where the transformative experience of attending live theatre and dance is essential, relevant, accessible and inspirational. To learn more about TDF, go to tdf.org. FB/Instagram/Twitter: @tdfnyc.
TDF wishes to acknowledge the following donors for their generous support of TDF Autism Friendly Performances:
Anonymous, Darlene and Stuart Altschuler, Theodore H. Barth Foundation, Harry S. Black & Allon Fuller Fund, Bradley Butwin, The FAR Fund, The Joseph H. Flom Foundation, Eric Grossman, Howard Gilman Foundation, O'Melveny, Jonathan Rosenberg, Seventh District Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Taft Foundation, and Ronald and Catherine Weiss in honor of Joseph Flom.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities, and Addiction. This program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.