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Our Mission:

We are a not-for-profit performing arts center who presents and produces a wide variety of quality performing arts, advances arts education and creates a neighborhood that is a superior destination for entertainment, business and residential living, thereby strengthening the economic vitality of the region.

The Stage

Presenting and producing a variety of the finest entertainment for the betterment of the community. more

Arts Education

A national leader in engaging the community through enriching experiences in the performing arts. more

Area Development

A major area developer creating a vibrant destination and economically-strong neighborhood. more

Not-for-Profit

Performing Arts Center

A not-for-profit that must raise over $4 million dollars annually to continue improving the region's quality of life. more

Sensory-Friendly Performance at Playhouse Square – January 2015

Sensory-Friendly Programming at Playhouse Square

Playhouse Square is proud to commit to arts education, providing a variety of free and low-cost programs dedicated to inspiring and invigorating people of all ages, perspectives and abilities. Our sensory-friendly initiative is dedicated to increasing access and inclusion for children and families affected by autism spectrum disorders and other sensory, social and cognitive challenges. Some of our resident companies also present sensory-friendly programming.

About Sensory-Friendly Programming


Why might a trip to the theater be difficult for individuals on the autism spectrum or with other sensory challenges?

Whether especially sensitive to lights, smells or sounds, or constantly seeking opportunities to increase sensory information by touching objects, stomping feet or clapping hands, for those affected, a traditional theater experience can be overwhelming. 

What makes a performance sensory-friendly?

  • Lower sound levels, especially for startling or loud sounds
  • Guests are free to talk, leave their seats and move freely during the performance
  • House lights in the theater are left on low throughout the performance
  • Designated calming areas staffed by volunteer specialists are available
  • All are welcome in a judgment-free environment

Sensory-Friendly Program Tools


Headed to an upcoming sensory-friendly program? Here are a few tools to help plan your visit.

Plan Your Visit

Want to learn a little bit about the Playhouse Square area? Learn more about our neighborhood (the restaurants, the theaters, maps and more) in our Plan Your Visit section.

Parking and Drop Off Information

Parking and Drop-Off accomodations vary from program to program. Each program will have specific information as to what accomodations are available, For general information about parking at PlayhouseSquare, please click here.

Social Story- Visiting Playhouse Square

Social stories can be used to help individuals on the autism spectrum prepare for a social interaction or situation. View the Visiting Playhouse Square social story.

Services for guests with disabilities

Wheelchair accomodations vary from program to program. Each program will have specific information as to what accomodations (and how to arrange for them) are available. For general information about Playhouse Square services for guests with disabilities, please click here.

Upcoming Sensory-Friendly Events:


Past Sensory-Friendly Programs:


Awards

Milestones Autism Resources Community Innovator Award
Ohio Rehabilitation Award
National Rehabilitation Award

Sensory-Friendly Performances 

January 29, 2017 - Brown Bear, Brown Bear & Other Treasured Stories by Eric Carle, Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia
October 25, 2016 - Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters, Dallas Children's Theater
May 8, 2016 - Carnival of the Animals, Circa
October 27, 2015 - Air Play, Acrobuffos

"The World Through My Eyes" Exhibit

As part of the 6th annual International Children's Theater Festival presented by University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, children on the autism spectrum created original artwork on the theme of "The World Through My Eyes." The artwork received professional gallery treatment and was displayed at the Galleries at CSU. 

First Sensory-Friendly Performance 

On January 13, 2015, Playhouse Square welcomed audience members on the autism spectrum to our first sensory-friendly performance of Havana Hop by Paige Hernandez.  

Arboreality (The Nest)
During our 2014 International Children’s Theater Festival, guests of all ages and abilities were invited to experience “The Nest,” a forest canopy filled with light, texture and wonder. “Arboreality: The Nest” was created by Cleveland artist Ian Petroni and Theater Ninjas, in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism Outreach.