Northbrook Theatre is becoming more inclusive, with the addition of Sensory-Friendly performances designed to make shows welcoming to all audiences. 

A Sensory-Friendly performance of  The Cat in the Hat takes place at 2pm, Sunday, October 27 at Northbrook Theatre, 3323 Walters Avenue. The performance is structured to enhance accessibility for audience members and families with various sensitivities, allowing them to experience shows without the conventions of a traditional theatre setting, said Performing Arts Manager Erin Sweet. 

As part of the performance, certain adjustments will be made, such as dimming the house lights instead of turning them off, reducing the volume of recorded sound during noisy moments and allowing audience members to talk and leave their seats during the performance. All seating will be general admission to better accommodate individual family needs and the lobby will be available as a quiet space for taking a break from the production. Families also are welcome to bring their own seat cushions, comfort objects and other support items during the show. 

“Audiences can expect a more relaxed atmosphere at our Sensory-Friendly performances,” Sweet said. “Sensory-Friendly performances flip the conventional theatre environment and eliminate the structure, giving audience members the opportunity to view a performance and respond to it as they are most interested in and comfortable doing.”

The added accessibility of Sensory-Friendly performances incorporates the Northbrook Park District’s Vision of delivering innovative park and recreation services to the community. 

The Cat in the Hat runs through November 3. Advanced ticket purchases are recommended. Tickets are $14 and can be purchased here or in person at the Leisure Center, 3323 Walters Avenue. Groups of 20 or more receive a discount of $10 a ticket. Party packages also are available.