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TDF'S Autism Theatre Initiative (ATI) presents first autism-friendly performance of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "The King and I" on Sunday, April 24 at 3pm

Date: Feb 18, 2016


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The Sunday April 24, 3:00pm matinee performance of Lincoln Center Theater’s Tony Award-winning production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I at the Vivian Beaumont Theater (150 West 65th Street, NYC) completes the fifth season of autism-friendly performances presented by TDF’s Autism Theatre Initiative (ATI). The other autism-friendly performances of Broadway shows this season are The Lion King (September 27, 2015), Wicked (February 7, 2016) and Aladdin (March 6, 2016).

“It’s wonderful to complete our fifth season of sold-out autism-friendly shows with Lincoln Center Theater’s fantastic production of this timeless classic,” said TDF’s Director of Accessibility Programs, Lisa Carling. “Each season we send out surveys to the thousands of families with children and adults on the spectrum who attend these performances, asking them what other shows they’d like to attend.  The King and I was at the top of the list and we’re thrilled to be able to offer it as the finale to our fifth season.”

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.

Tickets for The King and I will go on sale in early March. For more information on Autism Theatre Initiative or to sign up to hear about upcoming autism-friendly performances and on sale dates, go to:

Lincoln Center Theater’s production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I, with music by Richard Rodgers and a book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, based on the novel Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon, won four 2015 Tony Awards including  Best Revival of a Musical.  The production is directed by Bartlett Sher, and features a cast of 51, currently one of the largest casts performing on Broadway.  One of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works, The King and I boasts a score which features such beloved classics as “Getting To Know You,” “Hello Young Lovers,” “Shall We Dance,” “I Have Dreamed,” and “Something Wonderful.” Set in 1860’s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher, whom the imperious King brings to Siam to tutor his many wives and children.  
Lincoln Center Theater is one of New York’s favorite not-for-profit theaters, with productions at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont, Mitzi E. Newhouse, and Claire Tow Theaters, as well as other theaters on and off Broadway, as well as touring productions nationally and around the world, TV and film projects, and original cast recordings.   Notable recent productions include the award-winning The Coast of Utopia, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific, War Horse, Other Desert Cities, and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.  In addition to The King and I, LCT is currently producing The Royale at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, Her Requiem at the Claire Tow Theater, and A View from the Bridge on Broadway at the Lyceum Theater.  LCT3 is Lincoln Center Theater’s programming initiative devoted to producing the work of new artists and developing new audiences.  

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:

ATI is funded in part by
Bank of America Charitable Gift Fund, Helene Berger Foundation, Bulova Stetson Fund, The FAR Fund, The Flom Family Foundation, McGraw Hill Financial, The National Endowment for the Arts, New York Collaborates for Autism with the proceeds from Comedy Central’s Night of Too Many Stars, The Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Foundation, SAP Global Marking, Inc. Seventh District Foundation, The Taft Foundation, The Joseph LeRoy and Ann C. Warner Fund, Inc.