Industry Press / 12.07.20
TDF to Present Virtual Holiday Experiene for Families with Children and Adults on Autism Spectrum
New York, NY – December 7, 2020 –TDF will present Santa and Little B: Zoom for the Holidays!, a special virtual holiday experience for families with children and adults on the autism spectrum who have previously attended TDF’s autism-friendly performances on Broadway. There will be two performances to choose from: Sunday, December 13 at 1pm and Sunday, December 20 at 1pm.
To explore the holidays this year and the spirit of the season, Little B, a neurodiverse puppet, wonders if the holidays will still happen given the pandemic. She reaches out to Santa the way any child would in 2020 - through Zoom. Little B asks Santa a few questions about what the holiday season will be like and shares some of her wishes.
Audience members will be encouraged ask Santa questions in the chat window during the zoom. The event ends with an accessible singalong with captioning which will include Broadway holiday favorites!
Santa and Little B: Zoom for the Holidays! has original music and dialogue by writer/performer Becca Yuré and featuring professional Santa Claus, Ricky Dain Jones.
This event is free and suitable for all ages and inclusive of all winter holidays as we celebrate the season together. You can register at for Sunday, Dec. 13 at 1pm HERE; or register for Sunday, Dec. 20 HERE.
“Earlier this fall the families in our autism theatergoing community enjoyed our first digital event with illusionist Kevin Spencer so much that we wanted to create a holiday event for them,” said Lisa Carling, TDF’s Director of Accessibility Programs. “How thrilling that TDF’s Lead Autism Consultant Becca Yuré is also a talented composer and performer and she has devised this wonderful show. Additionally, how fortuitous that performer and TKTS by TDF’s Patron Service Lead Supervisor Ricky Dain Jones has also worked as a professional Santa during the holiday season. While we don’t know how long it will be until we can welcome our audiences back to live autism-friendly performances on Broadway, we’re dedicated to keeping our audience engaged through Zoom.”
Becca Yuré, PhD., BCBA, LBA, (voice of Little B., original music and dialogue) is the Lead Autism Consultant for TDF’s Autism Friendly Performances. She has been an educator for over 20 years in the classroom, home, clinic, and community environments. She earned a doctorate in behavior analysis, masters degrees in education and marriage and family therapy, and is a Licensed, Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She is the Clinical Director of By Your Side Services Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst Practice PLLC, supervising and training providers, teachers, paraprofessionals, caretakers, and parents, and offering one-on-one direct treatment and Buddy Club® friendship groups. She founded the non-profit organization BAMM Incluvision with the aim of supporting projects aimed at inclusion and accessibility in media from the inception of each creation.
Becca is also a singer, actress, dancer, songwriter, and member of Actors Equity Association. Before COVID, she enjoyed singing original music all around NYC. She has written and performed for both adult and children’s audiences. Her original musical, Little B’s Big Holiday Wish, a sensory-friendly musical was performed in NYC, welcoming a diverse audience to experience musical theatre in a supportive, inclusive environment. As a performer, favorite musical theatre credits include Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun, Amalia is She Loves Me, Florence in Chess, Lili in Carnival, Gigi in Gigi, Eve in The Apple Tree, and Martha in The Secret Garden. She sung on The Tonight Show, performed at Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, The Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles Music Center, the La Jolla Playhouse, and throughout the U.S. on national tours.
Ricky Dain Jones (Santa) is a New York based actor and has been working as a professional Santa Claus for the past 5 years. He also enjoys being the Lead Supervisor for TKTS Patron Services and has been a familiar face welcoming families to TDF’s Autism Friendly Performances for over 8 years. He is a graduate of Virginia’s Governors School for the Performing Arts and holds a BFA in Theatre from Shenandoah University. Ricky was last seen as Amos in Virginia Musical Theatre’s production of Chicago. Other favorite credits include Hysterium in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Henry Clay in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Terpicore in Xanadu, Uncle Ernie in The Who’s Tommy, Skip in Jeffrey, John Hinckley in Assassins, as well as ensemble roles in Miss Saigon and Titanic.
TDF Autism-Friendly Performances Program was founded in 2011 and operates under the umbrella of TDF’s Accessibility Programs. To create an autism-friendly setting, the shows are performed in a friendly, supportive environment for an audience of families and friends with children or adults who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or other sensitivity issues. Slight adjustments to the production, where possible, will include reduction of any jarring sounds or strobe lights focused into the audience. In the theatre lobby, there will be staffed break areas, if anyone needs to leave their seats during the performance. For these autism-friendly performances, TDF purchases every seat in the theatre and makes tickets available, at discount prices, exclusively to families, groups, schools, etc. whose members include individuals on the autism.
Since the program began in 2011, TDF has presented autism-friendly performances of these Broadway productions: Aladdin, Cats, Come from Away, Elf: The Musical, Frozen, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Kinky Boots, Mary Poppins, Matilda, My Fair Lady, Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, Spongebob Squarepants, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The King and I, The Lion King, The Phantom of the Opera and Wicked, as well as Disney Jr Live on Tour at the Hulu Theatre at MSG.
ABOUT TDF ACCESSIBILITY PROGRAMS
TDF’s eight accessibility programs make theatre-going possible for young people and adults with physical disabilities, as well as individuals on the autism spectrum. They provide a full range of services, including autism-friendly performances of theatre productions; accessible seating for those with mobility issues; and open captioned, sign language interpreted and audio described performances of Broadway and Off Broadway shows for theatregoers with hearing and vision loss. TDF also trains theatres in the U.S. 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 with low vision. TDF partners with the Broadway League on developing and maintaining the website theatreaccess.nyc.
Founded in 1968, TDF is a not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts, 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. TDF fulfills its mission with a variety of programs that expand access, cultivate communities and support the makers of the performing arts. TDF is known for its theatre going programs (including the TKTS by TDF Discount Booths and TDF Membership program); Accessibility programs (including open captioned, audio described and Autism Friendly Performances), Education & Engagement programs (serving more than 12,000 New York City students annually), 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.
TDF Autism-Friendly Performances Program receives major support from:
Darlene and Stuart Altschuler, The Theodore H. Barth Foundation, Helene & Ilene Berger, Harry S. Black and Allon Fuller Fund, Liv It Up & The David and Polly D'Addario Family, The FAR Fund, Joseph H. Flom Foundation, The Walter F. and Alice Gorham Foundation, NEXT for AUTISM from the proceeds of Night of Too Many Stars, National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Council, Speaker Corey Johnson, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, S&P Global, The Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund, The Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Foundation, Seventh District Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, the Smart Family Foundation of New York, and The Taft Foundation.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
This program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.