Skip to main content

GUEST POST: Oklahoma! Autism Part 3

Autism-Friendly Performance of “Oklahoma” at The Boston Conservatory – October 20 at 2 p.m.
I am delighted to share this wonderful news with all of you: The Boston Conservatory will present an Autism-Friendly performance of the musical “Oklahoma” on Sunday, October 20 at 2 p.m. in the Boston Conservatory Theater at 31 Hemenway Street, Boston, MA 02115.

For information about the performance, please visit: http://www.bostonconservatory.edu/oklahoma-autism. The website includes a video to help prepare individuals on the autism spectrum for the performance, as well as a social story, a plot synopsis, and a character guide. It also explains the ways that the performance and the environment will be altered in order to make the entire experience Autism-Friendly.

This very special event is sponsored by The Boston Conservatory in conjunction with its Program for Students on the Autism Spectrum. For more information on that program, please visit: www.bostonconservatory.edu/autism.

We would like this performance to be a sell-out! Please pass this information along to friends and colleagues who will be interested. Please purchase your tickets now!
 
Ticketing Information:
Tickets for this performance are currently on sale.
Access Code: okAFP13
Pricing: Adult - $20.00
               Students - $10.00

Instructions for purchasing tickets:
2. Scroll down and select “BUY TICKETS.”
3. Enter access code – okAFP13
4. Select your seats - seats that you select will change from green to yellow - then press "OKAY"
5. Under the column labeled "type" select whether your tickets will be Adult or Student/Child (the default is set to Adult).
6. Select a delivery option - Hold at Will Call (box office) or Print at Home
7. Press "PROCEED TO PAYMENT"
8. Enter your information (all of the red boxes must be filled in)
9. Press "Submit"
 
To Pick Up Tickets:
If a patron selected to have their tickets at the box office will call window, the box office will open 1 hour before the show on Sunday for pick up. Bring an ID.

Regular box office hours are Monday-Friday (Noon-5 p.m.) beginning Monday, September 9. If you wish to purchase tickets for this performance over the phone, please contact Olivia Levering, Audience Services Manager, directly at (617) 912-9142.

Please pass the word along – we want to fill the house for this extraordinary event!

How the Autism-Friendly Performance of “Oklahoma” Came to Be
Over a year ago, Kim Haack, our Director of External Relations at The Boston Conservatory, emailed me a YouTube video of an NBC Nightly News story about the Theater Development Fund in New York and the autism-friendly performance that they presented on Broadway’s “The Lion King.” Kim’s message said, “We should do this – let’s talk!” After watching the video, I was so excited about this idea that I scheduled a meeting with Kim right away. From there, we began the process of planning and working towards this event.

Kim and I brought the idea to various constituencies at the Conservatory, all the way up to the President, Richard Ortner. Everyone who heard about the idea supported it. It was just a question of finding the right show and making it happen. We wanted to be sure that we could provide the best experience possible for children and families with individuals on the spectrum. To that end, I surveyed the families in our Program for Students on the Autism Spectrum and learned that a Sunday matinee was the best timing for such an event.

When we put together the production schedule for “Oklahoma,” it was crafted as two weekends (usually our shows run in one weekend) so that we could devote the Sunday matinee to this purpose. Once the production schedule was set, Kim and I began meeting with other people at the Boston Conservatory to take care of planning. We met with folks from the Theater Division, the Production Department, the Marketing Department, and the Institutional Advancement Office, as well as others in Audio/Visual and the Box Office. Together we have come up with timelines and tasks to support this event. Kim also went to New York and created a partnership with the Theater Development Fund so that they can support our efforts.

Creating Materials for the Website
Thanks to the assistance of Victoria LaRiccia, special educator and consultant for the Program for Students on the Autism Spectrum, we put together several preparatory items that are on our website, including
A social story
A video orienting viewers to the theater and the experience of seeing a show
A plot summary
Character outlines
Special information for ticket buyers

These materials have proved extremely helpful to individuals wishing to know more about the production.

Plans for Workshops and Training
The next step, now that the cast of the show has been identified, will be to provide training and support to them so that they have a sense of what to expect during the production. The house will not be quiet – people will be walking through the aisles, making noise, moving around, and so on. We will be changing some small aspects of the production so that they are not difficult sensorially for this population. There will be fidgets, a quiet room, and house lights will be slightly on – all to make the performance and the environment more welcoming to individuals on the autism spectrum.

The house will be staffed with people who are trained to work with this population – mostly staff members and instructors from the Program for Students on the Autism Spectrum – and we will also have an EMT on site at the performance.

Spreading the Word
Our current efforts at spreading the word are reaching far and wide. I am traveling to several conferences and events to bring information about this performance. I am also mailing and emailing numerous contacts and lists to put the information out there. Tickets are selling – and we want to sell out! Please help us spread the word and let people know about this performance. We hope to provide additional autism-friendly performances in the future, from Theater, Dance, and Music. The lessons we learn next month will make those performances even better.

Until next time,
Rhoda

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

D, Popsicle Stick and Paper Plate Kalimba!

Back to the Orffabet! Today's letter is D, the shape of the popsicle prongs on a homemade Kalimba!

Lisa Lehmberg of the University of Massachusetts, has agreed to share this portion of her book chapter. Hurray, Lisa! Let's make a Kalimba out of popsicle sticks, paper plates, and some scrap wood!
You'll need: two small, sturdy paper platesone wood block (3cm x 7cm* x 1cm) To convert to inches click here.  This block is inside the plates and keeps them from collapsing.7 cm* piece of thin plywood five flat popsicle sticks7 cm* strip of flimsy wood moldingbrads or small screws (optional)paper gluewood glue*the length is determined by the size of the paper plates. These measurements are for the structural stability of the instrument, NOT the intonation. Just eyeball or loosely measure the wood.
Glue a block of wood to a paper plate near its edge. Glue another paper plate (plates facing each other) to the original plate and the wood block. Spread glue on both the rims of the…

Liquid Ass

So we've had another school shooting. By the time I post this, we will have had a few more. The NRA and President Bone Spurs would like us to arm teachers. Shooting another human being is not natural. Killing is not natural. Self-defense only feels natural when hand to hand combat is involved. Guns, even in the heat of  battle, are abstract. Perhaps the primary reason the United States has a volunteer army instead of a drafted one is that drafted soldiers are far less likely to actually fire at the enemy when the time comes. The kill instinct has to be trained into a soldier. It isn't natural, and it takes its toll on the soul. Plus, you'll probably miss and shoot an innocent student and die anyway.

So I offer a humble alternative. Well, maybe two, but one of them is actually entertaining.

1. ALICE training. Click on this. It's helpful.
2. Liquid Ass


Developed as a joke product, Liquid Ass makes an excellent deterrent to the progress of a shooter. Shooters expect thei…

"P", The Bucket Routine for older students

Today's Orffabet letter is P, for the shape of buckets and sticks when they are in storage in our guest teacher's classroom.

The following post and series of videos is for Upper Elementary, Middle School, or High School Students.  This is a rare opportunity for you to learn a routine without having to go to a workshop or Orff level.  You will learn the routine as your students would.

John is a teacher in the Worcester Public Schools.  He has taught this routine to Upper Elementary students as an after school program.  John's students worked on the routine for an hour or so every day for 6 weeks.  To see John in an earlier post, click here.

The "students" in this video are Orff Level I students in the Worcester Public Schools class of 2010.  They learned the routine in a 90 minute session with Level III students who already knew it.  Here is the routine after those 90 minutes.

This routine, inspired by African dance and Orff body percussion, is well outside the …