It was simply a stupendous night! Our Knights and Princesses Dream Ball family event was a rewarding success. Not only was the event sold out, we exceeded our fundraising goal of $25,000 to benefit our Sensory-Friendly Initiatives! The effort around the Ball netted an awesome $34,000 and there were many smiling faces and jubilant spirits enjoying the night’s festivities.
With little princesses and knights being the order of the day, attendees smiled from ear to ear from start to finish. Following the show, guests had the option of checking out the swordplay room or the princess pampering room, getting one-on-one time with each of the cast members and having the opportunity to pose on stage (not something we usually let showgoers do). They were then treated to a royal dinner and a chance to make their own crowns. There was also a wonderful magician/puppeteer on hand from Amazing Attractions to entertain the little ones while the adults heard more about the effort they were supporting. The night finished off with a Dream Ball dance led by DJ Sir Seth (one of DCT’s teaching artists.) It was definitely a Very Fairy Tale!
The event was to raise funds so that DCT could produce three more sensory-friendly shows in 2015. Why? Children with different sensory needs and their families do attend our productions and many are involved with great success in our arts education programming. Yet many parents do not bring their children with special needs to our productions because their children have a low tolerance for crowds, loud noises, darkness, flashing lights, and other similar sensory input. The requirement to remain seated quietly for an extended period of time is very difficult for many children. Often, because of these challenges, families that include a child with special needs don’t believe that the the world of theater is accessible to them. We want to reverse that belief by making Dallas Children’s Theater an accepting and safe place for children with autism and other developmental and motor disabilities and their siblings. When families have safe places in the community where they experience acceptance, such support can increase their optimism about their ability to manage their situation and their sense of control over the disability — two important assets that increase quality of life.
And because we achieved the goal, we can look forward to another year of shows for families who might not otherwise go out and enjoy live theater. So for 2015, these families can look forward to the following three productions:
Learn what sensory-friendly programming
at DCT means to our special families!
About DCT’s Sensory-Friendly Programming:
We are so pleased to be able to offer these specially-adapted plays for the enjoyment of those with sensory needs. General production adaptations include leaving the house lights up a few levels higher than for a standard performance and reducing the sound level. We also offer a “Quiet Room” for children who need a break. There will be some fun and engaging activities presented before the play as well.
Special thanks to all of the sponsors and supporters who have helped make these shows possible for 2014 and 2015. It means more to these families than you could ever imagine!
Michael Young Family Foundation
Mickie & Jeff Bragalone
First Unitarian Church of Dallas
The March Family Charitable Foundation
Melinda & Jim Johnson
The Kinsler Family
Diana & Tom Klein
Showalter Family Foundation Fund of The Dallas Foundation
The Swords Family
Karen & Ken Travis
Charlene & Vernon Wells III
All Dream Ball Attendees
Communities Foundation of North Texas