An oasis for those who love classic stories. Los Angeles Times


What Does “Relaxed Performance” Mean?

Pictured: Ensemble. Photo by Craig Schwartz.

By A Noise Within
November 16, 2018

You might have heard us talk about our sensory-friendly relaxed performance of A Christmas Carol, but do you know what that actually means? How can you know if a relaxed performance is right for you and your family? Learn more from our Director of Education and Community Outreach, Alicia Green.

What does sensory-friendly mean?

Lights and sound are reduced to make a welcoming environment for those who are distracted or upset by startling sounds or light changes. We keep our house lights on throughout the performance as well to ensure a safe environment for the audience and allow for easy movement around the theatre. The use of mobile electronic devices is allowed during the performance. Designated activity/relaxation spaces will be available for those who need a break from the performance.

Why are you putting on a sensory-friendly relaxed performance?

Going to a theater can be an overwhelming experience for someone on the autism spectrum, sensory disorders, or Alzheimer’s. Crowding in the lobby and lines to pick up tickets, loud volume and sudden bursts of sounds, along with dark theater lighting can all be sensory overload triggers that keep some people from ever experiencing the magic of live theatre. Due to the break in routine during the holidays, many families also experience heightened tension and difficulties in finding things to do as a family. We hope to provide a safe space for families to be who they are and enjoy a performance that is tailored to their needs.

Is this the same show you usually perform?

We maintain the same level of quality found in all of our performances.  The only differences include reduced lights and sound, and we cut performances down to be an hour or less and they run with no intermission.

How long are the performances?

Plays run between 45 and 60 minutes and are performed with no intermission.

Can we come and go from the theatre as needed?

Absolutely!  We have quiet areas set up in the lobby where patrons can take a break if needed.

Who are you working with to make this happen?

We are working with the incomparable Ivor Weiner from California State University Northridge to ensure best practice as we launch this program.

What if we have to cancel at the last minute?

You can book now and cancel later for our relaxed performance at no cost to you. We understand that challenges can pop up without warning, and we will not put an undue financial burden on you. Just call Box Office at (626) 356-3100 to have your money refunded.

What if we can’t afford our whole family to attend?

Scholarships are available if needed. Please reach out to me at or (626) 356-3104.

Can I also bring my young children who have trouble sitting through a performance?

We encourage you to bring children ages 3 and up! Everyone is welcome to attend a relaxed performance with the understanding that it is “Hush-Free” and that there will be a certain level of sound and movement throughout the show.

Got more questions? You can find more info here. You can also purchase tickets for our relaxed performance of A Christmas Carol on December 8 at 11am.

News you may be interested in ...