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Old Globe Offers Autism Friendly Grinch

Above: This will be the 15th year for the Old Globe's holiday musical "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas." This will be the first year the theater stages an autism-friendly production.

Aired 7/23/12 on KPBS News.

The Old Globe’s annual production of "Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas" is a tradition for many San Diego families. KPBS arts reporter Angela Carone says this year, the Globe will make it easier for children with autism to enjoy the holiday musical.

The Old Globe will stage its first autism-friendly version of "Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas" in early December.

The theater invited autism specialists to see the musical and identify parts of the show that might be challenging for children on the autism spectrum.

The autism-friendly version will have fewer loud noises and sudden movements. Actors won’t move up and down the aisles and the house lights will be kept part way up so children are less surprised by what’s going on around them.

Roberta Wells-Famula is the director for education at the Old Globe. "The biggest part of it is to make this a welcoming environment for people who often feel ostracized. So we wanted to find a way to bring more people to the theater who might really want to but might not have the ability to do so. "

The Old Globe was inspired by Broadway’s autism-friendly productions of "The Lion King" and "Mary Poppins."

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