Sensory Friendly Theatre (SFT)

Brought to you by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Sensory Friendly Theatre (SFT) is a series of live performances specially designed and adapted for children with autism and similar sensory sensitivity.

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to present the 2015 Sensory Friendly Theatre series at Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway. Sensory Friendly music, theater and dance performances are specially adapted for children and adults with autism and other sensory sensitivities.


“Designed to help families with sensory, social and learning disabilities to experience the performing arts in a safe, judgment-free environment, the Freeholder Board is proud to continue supporting this series,” says Freeholder Chair Mohamed S. Jalloh. “This performance series enhances the County’s vision that the arts should be accessible to everyone.”


The Freeholder Board’s Sensory Friendly Theatre series began in 2012 as an initiative of Freeholder Alexander Mirabella. It is designed according to guidelines that help reduce disturbances for children and adults who experience heightened sensory sensitivity.


For each of the special performances in the Sensory Friendly Theatre series, the theatre environment at the Performing Arts Center will be adjusted to provide a sensory-friendly, comfortable and judgment- free space that is welcoming for all families.


Implementing the supportive atmosphere is the organization Autism Friendly Spaces, which provides specialists to train staff and volunteers on working with children with autism and other special needs during Sensory Friendly Theatre performances, while providing comfort and help to families.


The Freeholder Board is proud to support programs for adults and children of all abilities throughout the year.  For all the latest events, activities and updates, visit the County’s website at    




Sunday, September 212014 • 2:00 PM

Held at the UCPAC Mainstage

Sunday, November 23 2014 • 2:00 PM

Held at the UCPAC Mainstage
  Jim West's DINOSAURS

Sunday, January 11, 2015 • 2:00 PM

Held at the UCPAC Mainstage
  The Berenstain Bears in

Sunday, March 292015 • 2:00 PM

Held at the UCPAC Mainstage

Sunday, May 32015 • 2:00 PM

Held at the UCPAC Mainstage


* What to expect at a Sensory Friendly Theatre event *

Each performance will run 60 minutes with no intermission.

Seating is general admission and a limited number of tickets will be sold
to maintain a comfortably-sized audience at each performance.

Lights will remain up inside the theatre auditorium.

Sound volume will be lowered and remain constant to prevent abrupt, jarring sounds.

Children will be free to talk and vocalize as they wish.

Children may only leave their seats under parental or guardian supervision.

A private area will be available where children and their families can relax in our theatre's cafe.
Fidget and stress sensory toys will be available for children to borrow as needed.

Professional Autism specialists will be available throughout the performance
to provide assistance as requested or needed.

A "This Is My Theatre" Social Story Picture Packet may be downloaded here.
Families are encouraged to use this packet to help acquaint their children with
the experience of going to a live performance.

Autism Friendly Spaces, LLC (AFS) is our consulting organization - one that serves as a creative catalyst of change by working directly with families and neighborhood institutions, enabling communities to become more inclusive. AFS understands the feeling of isolation and frustrations that families with autism face on a daily basis, and aims to provide these families with greater opportunities to take part in enjoyable and valued community activities.

We acknowledge and thank the following organizations for their input in developing this series of performances. Please visit them online to learn more about their programs and services.









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