CSz Richmond is proud to present the customized sensory friendly production of the hilariously popular ComedySportz® - improv comedy for everyone!
2023 Dates- March 4, June 3, August 12
ComedySportz® pits two teams of improv comedians against each other in a battle for points & laughs, based entirely on audience suggestions. And now, it’s custom designed to be more accessible for individuals and families who will benefit from a relaxed and supportive environment.
Our goal is to provide a safe and welcoming environment where families can simply relax and be who they are. And thanks to some generous donors, the ticket price is a very affordable $6.
A pre-visit social story and preparatory materials for parents and children
Glow sticks raised when a loud noise is coming
Reduction of the sound and bright lights on stage
Low lighting in the theater so patrons can easily and safely move around throughout the performance
Limited crowds and spaced out seating to allow more comfort
3 Designated break spaces
Allowance of tablets and smartphones for communication
Relaxed house rules - feel free to get up, move around, and vocalize as you can feel free to be yourself
What makes THIS different from the regular ComedySportz® matches?
Can you explain further? OF COURSE!
Q. What is a sensory-friendly performance?
A. A “sensory-friendly” performance is a theatre production that is modified to accommodate individuals with sensory-input disorders, such as people on the autism spectrum, those with anxiety, and people with a range of cognitive abilities. You will notice relaxed “house rules” – some individuals may need to get up, move around, and leave the theatre during the performance. There is no expectation that the audience will be completely quiet during the performance. Our volunteers will be available throughout the performance to help you if you have any questions. A Quiet Area will be available with sensory-friendly toys for anyone who needs a break from the performance. Our goal is to create an environment where people with autism or sensory needs, along with their families, can enjoy coming to the theatre together and will feel comfortable, supported and free to be themselves.
Q. What kinds of changes will be made to the production?
A. We will be keeping the lights in the audience on, but at a dimmed level. We will lower the volume of our speakers to limit noise sensitivity, but we encourage you to bring headphones. The Ref will be using a whistle or other noise to signal a transition. There will be a signal to the audience to warn them that a potentially jarring moment is about to happen via glow sticks.
Q. Who should attend this performance?
A. The sensory-friendly performance is specially designed for children and adults with sensory-input disorders, autism, or other developmental or cognitive disabilities, as well as their families and caretakers. We promise a judgment-free, fun experience for the entire family. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Q. Can people without sensory input challenges attend this performance?
A. Yes, all individuals, regardless of their sensory needs, are welcome to attend the performance and to take advantage of the adaptations that a sensory-friendly performance provides. As indicated above, the experience will be different than a traditional performance; changes have been made to both the production and atmosphere in order to create a safe space for people with autism and other sensory-input disorders and their families. All ticket buyers to this performance will be informed of these alterations.
Q. My child/family member/client with autism has difficulty with transitions. Is there anything I can do to prep him/her for this new experience?
A. We have crafted a social story to help prepare audience members for the experience. We will also open the house to the theatre at 1:15 pm, 45mins before the start of the show, so that those wishing to arrive early to find their seat and meet our volunteers may do so.
Q. What if my child talks or makes noise during the performance?
A. No problem! We expect that there will be noise in the audience. Your child may not be the only one who talks or makes noise. If you chose, you are welcome to step out of the theatre, but this is not necessary. We want you and your family to experience and express yourselves as you are. Our volunteers and cast have had training so that they know what to expect in terms of noise and movement in the audience.
Q. If my child/family member is not able to sit through the entire show, will we be able to leave the theater? If we decide to, will we be able to return to our seat?
A. Yes, volunteers will be available to help any travelers to the lobby area. If someone in your family decides they cannot finish the show, you can absolutely leave the theatre early. If they simply need a break, we will have 3 rest areas
Q. When and where is this show taking place?
A. Scroll to the top of this page to see all of the dates for our sensory-friendly performances this year, always at 2:00pm on those Saturdays. We are located at 8906-H W. Broad Street. Future performances can always be found on our Tickets page, once they have been scheduled.
Q. How long is the performance?
A. The performance is about 1 hour long with no intermission.
Q. How can I buy tickets for the sensory-friendly performance?
A. You can buy tickets online or call the Box Office at 804-266-9377.
Q. Can I bring fidget toys, headphones or other items that help my child/family member stay calm?
A. Of course! We encourage you to bring any items that might make the experience more comfortable and enjoyable.
Q. I have another question. Who can I contact about the sensory-friendly performance?
A. Please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.