Families with loved ones diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, cognitive and physical challenges, or other sensory sensitivities will soon be able to enjoy performances at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts that are specifically adapted to meet their needs. The Tobin will host its first ever sensory-friendly performance on Monday, Sept. 26 at 11 a.m. in the H-E-B Performance Hall, featuring the Parsons Dance Company, a New York City-based modern dance company internationally recognized for creating and performing contemporary American dance. The company is known for its energizing, athletic, ensemble choreography and was founded back in 1985 by artistic director David Parsons and Tony Award-winning lighting designer Howell Binkley.
“We are actively finding ways to invite the entire community to the Tobin, with programming that is accessible for the entire community,” said Kendall Purpura, Tobin Center vice president of development. The Tobin Center added this extra performance by the Parsons Dance Company once they discovered that the dance company had already designed a modified performance to accommodate the sensory challenges of the audience. “Certain elements surrounding the performance will be modified,” said Sarah Saenz, Tobin education coordinator. “The sound level will be lower to avoid loud or potentially frightening sounds. The theater lights will be left on, but at a low level during the entire performance. There will be no strobe lights and patrons will be free to talk throughout the event.”