TDF reveals season of autism-friendly performances for 2023-24 season

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Non-profit theatre organisation TDF, formerly known as the Theatre Development Fund, has announced its 12th season of autism-friendly performances (AFP) for the 2023-24 season.

The adjusted performances are tailored for individuals and families with autism and cognitive disabilities. 

Performances will include Broadway’s ‘The Lion King’, ‘MJ: The Musical’ and ‘Aladdin’. Further autism-friendly performances will also include the ‘Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes’ in New York, in November. 

The season will begin on October 1 with ‘The Lion King’ at the Minskoff Theatre. This will be followed by the first-ever autism-friendly performance of the ‘Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes’ on November 19 at Radio City Music Hall. Further firsts will also include ‘MJ: The Musical’ on March 10, next year. 

The AFP season will conclude with Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ at the New Amsterdam Theatre on May 5, 2024. 

Deeksha Gaur, TDF’s executive director, said: “At TDF our mission is to remove barriers to access for all audiences of all backgrounds, ages and abilities. That’s because we believe that the performing arts are a right, not a privilege. What we see at our autism-friendly performances are audiences that love the theatre and love the arts but are not always invited to participate. That’s where TDF comes in. We facilitate the process so audiences can see shows on their own terms, and so families can have these transformative experiences together.”

Lisa Carling, director of TDF Accessibility Programmes, added: “We’re looking forward to an exciting season of Autism Friendly Performances. It’s heartening to see that demand for these performances has grown each year since we launched the program in 2011.

“As is our tradition, we open with a performance of ‘The Lion King’, making this the 12th year we’ve worked with the wonderful team at Disney on Broadway. We have wanted to expand AFP to dance for a while. Thanks to Madison Square Garden Entertainment and the team at Radio City Music Hall, we will present the inaugural autism-friendly performance of the ‘Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes’ at Radio City Music Hall, providing a memorable holiday experience for our audience.”

AFP tickets usually go on sale to roughly six to eight weeks before a performance through TDF’s website. Tickets to this weekend’s performance of ‘The Lion King’ are already sold out. 

TDF Autism Friendly Performances originally launched in 2011 with ‘The Lion King’ on Broadway, and has since included performances of ‘Aladdin’, ‘Cats’, ‘Come From Away’, ‘Elf: The Musical’ and more.