Dallas Children's Theater Blog

Astonishing Kids And Families With The Fun of Broadway-Like Plays and A Lot More!

We did it! More Sensory-Friendly Shows in 2015!

unnamed2It 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 DCT-Dream-Ball-020from 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 unnamed5magician/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 IMG_0602families 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 IMG_0584that 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
Ducky Bob’s
First Unitarian Church of Dallas
Sharron Hunt
The March Family Charitable Foundation
Melinda & Jim Johnson
The Kinsler Family
Diana & Tom Klein
Northern Trust
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



In honor of National Arts in Education Week , DCT and the arts have some incredible news for today’s children and parents.

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Check out the wealth of information available to us today about how arts feed the brain of our children! (excerpts below from ArtsBlog)

Arts instruction has long been used as a tool for reaching English Language Learners. In fact, the origins of the children’s theatre genre lie in the Settlement Houses of Chicago in the early Twentieth Century, where Jane Addams utilized theatre and poetry to help students learn English (this tradition can be seen today in the plethora of children’s books adapted for the stage.)….

….When done right, arts-integrated classroom learning moves way beyond enrichment. In the best case scenario, arts education is genuine, inquiry-based learning that requires students to think as well as make/do/create. Armed with clear-cut data, educators and arts advocates  have ample opportunities to engage diverse stakeholders  in approaches to more deeply engage students.

Continue reading the ArtsBlog article here


Your Financial Support Helps DCT Continue To Feed the Mind and Spirit of our Growing Children! Save the following link – SAVE


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Hailey Duggan, Age 7

It’s been so exciting to look through the winners of DCT’s BELIEVE Creativity Contest as we prepare the display for next season.  These young artists tackled the idea of believing in something wholeheartedly, and it is absolutely inspiring and has given us new insight on the power of imagination. Even those that were not selected as winners gave us a lot to think about.

Erin, age 11, said on her entry form that she “believes anything can happen and that all thing are possible.”

Princess Land

Alyssa, age 11, said she believes mermaids could take us “on a journey to the deep sea of her imagination.”

Griselda, age 15, said she believes she can escape a harsh reality by riding her bike.

We will be celebrating these young artists all year, with the creations of 11 grand prize winners and 7 honorable mentions in display cases in DCT’s lobby.   Each will be honored individually at opening nights this season, and with the opening of Rapunzel! Rapunzel! A Very Hairy Fairy Tale, we will celebrate Hailey Duggan and her creation Princess Land.  Hailey is a seven-year-old, homeschooled second grader who believes everyone should have the chance to go explore new places.

When we received Hailey’s salt dough creation, we were impressed by her ingenious blending of materials and found objects, including a cutting board and toys. Hailey explains, “First I shaped it, then I put in the trees, bushes, castle, jewel path, and picnic ground. After it hardened, I painted it with grass, flowers, and streams, and I added a flag made of rubber bands.

Hailey said she got the idea to create Princess Land when she saw a picture of Walt Disney’s map design of Disneyland. We love hearing what inspires kids to create and always enjoy seeing where their creativity will take them.  Remember to check out our Fun to Do page to find activities your family can do together.