A Commitment to Sensory-Friendly Programming
The Flynn Center is delighted to build on an initiative to offer sensory-friendly programming for children on the autism spectrum or with other sensory sensitivities. The Flynn worked on these adaptations with Childsplay from Arizona; the Theatre Development Fund from NYC, which has been implementing sensory-friendly shows on Broadway in recent years; and Chicago Children's Theatre which brought Red Kite, Brown Box to the Flynn for five performances in 2015 that did not insist upon sitting still and keeping quiet, but rather encouraged children to move, laugh, talk, sing, and interact with the artists. Red Kite, Brown Box returned October 16 and 17, 2016 for family matinees, student matinees, and an educator workshop. Read Flynn Executive Director John Killacky's reflections on this residency.
Families and/or caregivers of children with autism or sensory sensitivities are encouraged to join us for Peter Rabbit Tales in November 2016: a family evening Tuesday, November 29 at 6 pm or student matinee Tuesday, November 29 at 9:30 am.
Did you know that social stories, break spaces, sensory-friendly materials, and more are available for all shows at the Flynn! Want to know more? Visit our Accessibility Page or call Kat at 802-652-4571.
Reflections on Red Kite, Brown Box
From a father who attended with his daughter:
"Thank you for the interactive performance of the Chicago Children’s Theatre’s Red Kite, Brown Box at the Flynn. My daughter Lily had a great time and was telling people about it for days. This is not trivial when it can take more effort to communicate. My family thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I was overcome during the first few moments of the performance with the beauty of seeing all the children with autism enjoying the show together. This togetherness is important for children who often feel isolated and may wonder if others see the world as they do. This rare occasion was possible because the Flynn created an opportunity to have this shared experience. On top of that, the children were shown the importance of theater to help develop creativity, as a wonderful way to learn and a demonstration of self-empowerment. Making theater performances accessible to more individuals, especially children, is commendable. I believe that is exactly what you have accomplished. Seeing the Flynn staff and Chicago Children’s Theatre’s actors take time to consider the needs of people like my daughter is heartwarming. It was very special to feel part of the community. Thank you."
From Eva Laporte, Chicago Children's Theatre member and educator:
"Let us know when we can come back, and we will be right over! Thank you for a wonderful week and for introducing us to so many sweet young friends!"
A poem by Mykele Callicutt, Chicago Children's Theatre member and educator:
My heart is spilling.
My brain is on replay.
My motives have grown.
This trip has taught.
The work we did will stand as a monument in me when times go dark.
I've gained comrades and family in the battle for education and therapy.
I was bathed in hospitality and encouragement.
I am luck incarnate.
Hello again, Chicago.
Back to the fight.
A sweet behind-the-scenes moment for Flynn Administrator Madeline Bell:
"Guys, Kat and I are receiving info about each kid that is coming to 'Red Kite, Brown Box' and the likes/dislikes sections are just the most adorable things I've ever read. Here's one of my favorite "like" sections: 'Minecraft, outer space, planets, black holes, boxes, large zip lock bags, rocks, erasers, black cats, and shapes. He loves the color black.'
Did you know that social stories, break spaces, sensory-friendly materials, and more are available for all shows at the Flynn! Want to know more? Call Kat at 802-652-4571.