A sensory-friendly performance of 'A Christmas Carol' at the Goodman Theatre

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A Chicago classic is becoming more inclusive. A sensory-friendly production of the Goodman Theater's "A Christmas Carol" is just a week away. (WLS)

A Chicago classic is becoming more inclusive. A sensory-friendly production of the Goodman Theatre's "A Christmas Carol" is just a week away.

It's the Christmas Classic we all know and love. This holiday season, the Goodman Theatre is partnering with Autism Speaks to make sure all families are included.

"It's Goodman Theatre and it's a Christmas Carol and it's a Chicago tradition. I think every Chicago family should have the opportunity to see the show and we want to take away any barrier there might be," said Keith McCormick, executive director of Autism Speaks.

The show will still be a full production with just a few adjustments.

"Most of the changes to the show itself are to the sonic elements. Mainly about lowering the volume of all the sounds," said director Henry Wishcamper. "The house lights will be on during our show and patrons know that they can talk. It's more about them knowing that it is an accepting and safe environment than it is about radically changing the show."

In addition to that patrons will also be offered a safe space if they need a break and families are welcome to bring certain items to provide calm and comfort.

"We will be providing a quiet area for our performance and that is going to be in our Alice Education Center. So it's going to be a space up there where they can guide people and they can watch the show on a video, they'll be coloring and it's kind of like if you need a break, go to the quiet area," said Mel Yonzon, house manager of Goodman Theatre. "If people have their own toy and fidget spinners we encourage people to bring those things...so if they have something that is comfortable that they want to hold during the show, they should bring it."

The Goodman hopes to have sensory friendly shows annually. This year's show is on December 30 at 2 p.m. For more information, visit https://www.goodmantheatre.org/SensoryPerformance.
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