Patel Conservatory Theater presents Sensory Friendly Performances of our student performed, professionally produced shows. All performances take place in the TECO black box theater. Production components such as sound levels, abrupt lighting changes and surprise elements are lessened for these performances while still providing an invigorating performance experience. Increased audience noise, verbalization and activity levels are expected and not considered disruptive by the audience, ushers or performers. Sensory Friendly Performances are also a great option for parents who would like to introduce their youngest children to theater.

With the assistance of Dr. Jeff Skowronek, Associate Professor of Psychology at University of Tampa, and the Center for Autism Related Disabilities at USF, Straz Education has created a social story for our TECO Sensory Friendly theater experiences.

Past Sensory Friendly productions have included:
  • You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
  • Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
  • Godspell
  • A Christmas Carol
  • The Wizard of Oz, YPE
Seating
General admission seating is provided and wheelchairs are accommodated on the floor level adjacent to family member seating, and entire parties may sit together. Additional aisle access seating is created with our flexible seating capabilities. Floor seating for children may be utilized for select performances.
 
Accessories
Guests are welcome to bring iPads, tablets, headphones and other items into the TECO Theater for sensory friendly performances. In addition, fidgets, squishy balls, ear plugs and other stim objects are available at the entrance to the theater.
 
Restrooms
TECO Lobby features an accessible companion restroom in addition to men’s and women’s restrooms each equipped with two accessible stalls.
 
Break Room
A break/quiet room is available adjacent to the TECO Lobby with stim items and a quiet area for families and guests who choose to take a break from the pre-show and intermission crowd or performance environment.
 
Assistance
Our staff and ushers are trained and available to facilitate and assist with guest needs during our sensory friendly performances.
 
What Our Audiences Say
“A parent and her child from our organization came to Beauty and the Beast and the mother was delighted to finally experience the joy of theater with her adult child for the first time!”
Pyramid Staff Member


“(My sister) had never been able to come to enjoy what I love to do, and what I want to do with my life. The ability to share my love and my passion for theater with her is, just, a blessing.”
Mitchell Broadwater, Performer
 
 “The PCT Sensory Friendly environment made me more open to responding fully and verbally to the production. Otherwise I would have held back and been less engaged with the performance.”
Audience Member
 
For upcoming Sensory Friendly productions, visit the following links: For more information regarding our Sensory Friendly performances, or to ask a specific question, please contact theaterdepartment@strazcenter.org or Audrey Siegler at 813.222.1073.
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