A FIELD FIRST: STUDENT-RUN SENSORY-FRIENDLY THEATER SHOW AT STUDIO DAY
Every Studio Day has something new and different—and this year, in a first for Field, students put on a sensory-friendly theater show.
“Sensory-friendly theater is just theater that is a little different and more accessible to our friends on any neurological spectrum," 10th grader Grace—and the technical director of the Student Pro second semester show—explains. This can involve changes in lighting, lowering the sound, and making the show generally more predictable. "The idea is to come as you are and experience it how you need to experience it," she says.
Grace was introduced to the idea of sensory-friendly theater when she sat in on a sensory-friendly rehearsal during her winter internship at Imagination Stage. "I thought it was amazing because I think theater is magical, and I think everyone should be able to experience that kind of magic," she says.
On her return to Field after Internship, Grace started collaborating with fellow student (and show stage manager) Wylde '22 to make a sensory-friendly show at Field a reality. They even coordinated with theater teacher Allie Heiman to bring Imagination Stage's access coordinator, Scott Turner, to campus to conduct an 80-minute workshop for students about what makes theater sensory friendly and how he adapts Imagination Stage's shows for diverse audiences.
After much research, work, and rehearsal, the moment has come for the show! "The Eastern Shore: A Murder Conundrum," (penned by Field's own history teacher David Kongstvedt '06!) premieres Friday, and the sensory-friendly performance will be this Saturday, right after Studio Day. Don't miss it! Grace is already looking forward to future shows, hoping by her senior year to make a show fully sensory friendly from day one table read through to final production. She says, "Theater can change people's lives and I want to be part of that. And I want Field to be part of that."