Theatre Development Fund’s Autism Theatre Initiative (ATI) makes Broadway productions accessible to individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their theatregoing companions. This program—the sole provider of autism-friendly programming for Broadway plays and musicals—aims to improve the quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities and provide them with a sensory-friendly opportunity to attend theatre at an affordable price.

Admission is subsidized to approximately 50% of the face value with the aid of Broadway producers and private funding. During the 2017 calendar year, Theatre Development Fund anticipates that 6,450 people will attend up to four autism-friendly performances of Broadway shows, including Aladdin and Kinky Boots.

THE BREAKDOWN

At ATI performances, production elements, like strobe lights and loud sound cues, are adjusted while keeping the show intact. TDF provides a team of volunteers to support front of house staff, quiet activity areas in each lobby, family-friendly restrooms, and sensory-friendly restaurants for post-show dining.

Beginning with the 2016-2017 season, workshops will be added for a school that is receiving free tickets. In 2016-2017, there will be one workshop per performance. 


6,299
Number of people served in 2016

765
Free tickets given in 2016

6,450
Anticipated number of people to be served in 2017
AYA students and teachers posing before seeing their Broadway show
“On ATI performance days we don't have to explain anything to anyone. We share an atmosphere of appreciation and consideration with the other audience members and, of course, with the wonderful volunteers. For us, the best thing about these performances is that our son has learned to love going to the theatre and it is one of the few activities that gets him really excited and engaged. It isn't easy to know what parts of the performance struck a chord with him, but he was happily attentive throughout the show.”
– Parent, Autism Theatre Initative
ATI volunteers before a matinee performance of The Lion King.

 Learn more about TAP’s other family-friendly accessibility program, Access for Young Audiences.