Youngsters shine in St. Louis sensory play - Republic-Times | News

Youngsters shine in St. Louis sensory play

By on December 27, 2017 at 2:14 pm

Pictured, from left, are Sam Mueller and Olivia Diaz.

Noah, Benjamin and Madison Parker of Columbia knew how to perform for a live audience when they auditioned for a recent musical with Ignite Theatre Company in St. Louis.

Each kid participates in plays at their schools, and, on top of that, they had taken part in some of the other plays with Ignite. 

But a Dec. 5 play at .Zack theater in St. Louis proved much different than past performances.

The three found themselves in a sensory performance of “Seussical,” along with Madison Naumann, Olivia Diaz and Sam Mueller, all of Waterloo. The sensory play catered to the needs of children with autism or those on the spectrum.

“As far as we could tell, it was a really great success,” play director Kimberly Kavanagh said. “A lot of families emailed after the play to say how much their kids enjoyed it.

“And a lot of them had never been to a play before and can’t get out much so it was great that they were able to do something like this.”

According to Kavanagh, turning the play into a sensory performance involved such accommodations as including less microphones to tone down the sound, having less seating and including toys for children in the audience.

She said Ignite’s first sensory performance was free. Additionally, each child in the audience was given a t-shirt, stress ball and Seussical pencil. 

Ignite worked with LoveU2Pieces for the event.

LoveU2Pieces, a St. Louis non-profit, provides support to families living with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders…>>>

Read the rest of the story in the December 27  issue of the Republic-Times.

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Sean McGowan

Sean is a die-hard Cubs fan, despite the relentless peer pressure coming from the rest of the Republic-Times staff. He and his wife, Jacqui, have been married for two years. Originally from the west suburbs of Chicago, Sean and his wife moved down to Normal to attend Illinois State University and stayed central Illinois residents for the past four years.