What is Relaxed Theatre?
Relaxed Theatre (RT) is a term used to describe theatre productions that provide a supportive atmosphere to the audience who, in the main, is comprised of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other learning/communication challenges. Piloted successfully in 2014, AFTEC has presented 17 Relaxed Theatre performances to provide joyful theatre experiences for ASD individuals, schools and families.
Characteristics of Relaxed Theatre
1. Relaxed Theatres Rules
The usual theatre rules and norms are set aside. Audience members are free to make noise, move around, leave and re-enter the auditorium anytime.
2. Laid Back Environment
Sound and lighting effects are reduced to less stimulating levels. Attendance is capped at half capacity of the auditorium to create more space. A chill-out area is offered outside the auditorium for audience members who need some down-time.
3. Specially Adapted Play
The play is specially adapted so that the storytelling is more direct. Interactive activities are specially designed according to the needs of the audience.
4. Pre-show Info Pack
A pre-show info pack is sent to the audience, including the story, characters’ information and photos of the venue. This enables the audience to familiarise themselves with the upcoming theatre experience in advance.
5. Venue support
Briefing is provided for venue staff, actors and administration teams on the needs of ASD young people.