The Tony-winning musical Hadestown has partnered with TDF, the not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts, to present the musical's first autism-friendly performance August 20 at 1 PM ET at the Walter Kerr Theatre.
To create an autism-friendly setting, the show will be performed in a supportive environment for children and adults diagnosed with autism or other sensory sensitivities. Slight adjustments have been made to the production, including the reduction of jarring sounds, lights, and fog focused into the audience. In the theatre lobby, there are also staffed break areas should audience members need to leave their seats during the performance.
“When we first encountered Hadestown, we had no way of anticipating the myriad ways in which varied audience members each found their own particular resonance in the story, the music, the lyrics and the characters,” said producer Mara Isaacs in an earlier statement. “We believe that everyone has the potential to see themselves in a story about love, hope, community and redemption. We look forward to discovering, along with our guests at the autism friendly performance, what will resonate for them.”
Tickets were offered by lottery to families with children and adults on the autism spectrum who have previously attended TDF Autism Friendly Performances on Broadway. This matinee is sponsored by Thomas M. Neff.
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to offer an autism friendly performance of this amazing show to our families with children and adults on the autism spectrum at no cost,” added Lisa Carling, TDF’s Director of Accessibility Programs. “Due to the generosity of Mr. Neff, these folks who have attended previous autism friendly performances on Broadway are getting an experience they won’t soon forget.”
Directed by Rachel Chavkin, Hadestown currently stars Grammy winner Reeve Carney as Orpheus, Solea Pfeiffer as Eurydice, Jewelle Blackman as Persephone, Tom Hewitt as Hades, and Tony winner Lillias White as Hermes. They are joined by Amelia Cormack, Lindsey Hailes, and Brit West as the Fates. The chorus of Workers is played by Emily Afton, Malcolm Armwood, Chibueze Ihuoma, Alex Lugo, and Alex Puette. The cast includes swings Brandon Cameron, Yael “YaYa” Reich, Eddie Noel Rodríguez, and Allysa Shorte.
Singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell’s folk- and jazz-infused musical layers the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice with that of Hades and Persephone, intertwining the actions—and consequences—of gods and mortals. Hadestown originally began as a theatrical concert performed by Mitchell.
The creative team features Tony-winning set designer Rachel Hauck, Tony-nominated costume designer Michael Krass, Tony-winning lighting designer Bradley King, Tony-winning sound designers Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, choreographer David Neumann, and dramaturg Ken Cerniglia. Musical supervision and vocal arrangements are by Liam Robinson, with arrangements and orchestrations by Tony winners Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose.
Visit TDF.org/autism to learn more about TDF Autism Friendly Performances.