Disney’s The Little Mermaid - Autism Friendly Performance

Little-Mermaid-2013 volunteers AFS began working with the Papermill Playhouse in 2013, and assisted with their first ever autism friendly performance of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. AFS Consultants conducted a comprehensive assessment of the performance, and provided the production team with suggestions for how they could make slight adjustments to aspects of the show, such as the lighting and sound levels.

We provided training to the staff and cast to raise awareness about autism, and to enhance their understanding of some of the challenges that may be experienced by individuals with ASD in a theatre setting. We created an array of visual supports and social narratives, and provided an assortment of sensory tools, such as fidgets and earplugs, which were used throughout the performance by audience members. Calming Corners and Activity Areas were set up in the lobbies, for individuals and families to access if they needed to take a break from the show. Additionally, we provided a team of well-trained volunteers, who provided support to guests, as needed.

Following the successful execution of this special performance, we are looking forward to our continued collaboration with The Papermill Playhouse, to creating more autism friendly theatre opportunities in the future.

Check out The Papermill Playhouse website for information about their schedule of upcoming performances.