|Katie Montoya as Olive in Olive & Pearl. Photograph by Christopher Duggan.|
|Miranda Wilson & Katie Montoya in Olive & Pearl. Photographer, Christopher Duggan|
At its heart, theater is about inclusion. Since the beginning of producing work for young people, Treehouse Shakers has been committed to serving families and students from low-income and underserved populations. Incorporating the Relaxed Performance (RP) model helps us to continue our commitment to serving all children. It is truly up to us, the performing arts community, to expand our definitions of inclusivity, equity and diversity, and shape the dialogue and actions around making theater for all. For our relaxed performance versions, will seat less audience members with individual seating of grass patches, made out of comfortable, furry fabrics, with tied knots that children who need to fidget can easily twirl and adjust. The performance itself is gentle, created with large moments and movements for those who have difficulty processing or following emotional cues. We will have a "Chill Out" room outside of the theater, with a monitor for children who would like to follow the show without other audience members. Our ushers are all trained in the RP model. Being sensitive to the needs of audiences, allows our work to be inclusive, equitable and impact a greater number of young people and families. Looking ahead, we will continue to add more relaxed performances in our upcoming seasons. For now, I hope you will join us in May.
|Olive & Pearl, photographer Christopher Duggan|