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First ever autism-friendly performance of Disney's Tony Award-winning musical Aladdin on Sunday, March 8 completes fourth season of TDF's Autism Theatre Initiative's (ATI) autism-friendly performances

Date: Mar 05, 2015
Press Release


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This Sunday March 8, 1:00pm matinee performance of Disney’s Tony Award-winning musical, Aladdin at the New Amsterdam Theatre (214 West 42nd Street) completes the fourth season of autism-friendly performances presented by TDF’s Autism Theatre Initiative (ATI). The other autism-friendly performances of Broadway shows presented this past season have been The Lion King, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and Matilda.

“It’s wonderful to complete our fourth season of sold-out autism-friendly shows with Aladdin, working with our colleagues at Disney Theatrical Productions,” said TDF’s Director of Accessibility Programs, Lisa Carling. “Disney Theatrical Productions was instrumental in helping us develop this program for people on the autism spectrum, as our first ATI’s show was at their production of The Lion King. When we put this performance of Aladdin on sale, it sold out in record time, less than five hours. In addition to illustrating how popular the show is, it highlights the need these families have to attend live theatre in a safe and supportive environment. We’re excited about what the fifth season will bring.”

Autism Theatre Initiative’s mission is to make theatre accessible to children and adults on the autism spectrum, and their families. To create an autism-friendly setting, the shows are performed in a friendly, supportive environment for an audience of families and friends with children or adults who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or other sensitivity issues. Slight adjustments to the production will include reduction of any jarring sounds or strobe lights focused into the audience. In the theatre lobby there will be staffed quiet areas, if anyone needs to leave their seats during the performance.

For these special performances, TDF purchases every seat in the theatre for sale at discount prices to families whose members include individuals on the autism spectrum.

For more information on Autism Theatre Initiative or to sign up to hear about upcoming autism-friendly performances, go to:

Disney's Aladdin, the Tony Award-winning new musical comedy based on the Academy Award-winning animated film, opened to critical acclaim on March 20th, 2014 at Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre and went on to receive 24 major theatrical award nominations. Despite beginning performances eight weeks into the year, Aladdin was the third highest-attended Broadway show of 2014; only the juggernauts Wicked and The Lion King entertained more people. Entertainment Weekly has deemed Aladdin “Broadway’s biggest new hit!” New York Magazine calls it “Musical comedy wish-fulfillment!” while The New York Times hails the show as “Fabulous… Extravagant! It defies expectations,” and the Daily News declares, “Seriously, it’s amazing!”

Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, the show features music by Tony Award and eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Sister Act), lyrics by two-time Oscar winner Howard Ashman (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid), three-time Tony Award and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (Evita, Aida) and four-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), with a book by Beguelin, and is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon).  

Aladdin, adapted from the Disney film and centuries-old folktales including “One Thousand and One Nights,” is brought to fresh theatrical life in this bold new musical.  Aladdin’s journey sweeps audiences into an exotic world of daring adventure, classic comedy and timeless romance.  This new production features a full score, including the five cherished songs from the Academy Award-winning soundtrack and more written especially for the stage.


TDF, a not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts, was created in the conviction that the live theatrical arts afford a unique expression of the human condition that must be sustained and nurtured. It is dedicated to developing diverse audiences for live theatre and dance, and strengthening the performing arts community in New York City. Since 1968, TDF’s programs have provided over 87 million people with access to performances at affordable prices and have returned over $2.4 billion to thousands of productions. Best known for its TKTS Discount Booths, TDF’s membership, outreach, access (including its Autism Theatre Initiative) and education programs — as well as its Costume Collection — have introduced thousands of people to the theatre and helped make the unique experience of theatre available to everyone, including students and people with disabilities. Recent TDF honors include a 2011 Mayor’s Award for Arts and Culture, a 2012 Tony Honor for Excellence for its Open Doors Arts Education Program, a 2012 New York Innovative Theatre Award for its support of the off-Off Broadway community and a 2013 Lucille Lortel honor for “Outstanding Body of Work” in support of the Off Broadway community. For more information, go to: