Dallas Children’s Theater is convening its royal court of brave Knights and lovely Princesses for a Dream Ball benefit where former Texas Ranger Michael Young and his lovely wife Cristina Barbosa Mateo have signed on as the Honorary Chairs of the event with one caveat: that the entire family be able to participate. On behalf of the family which includes Mateo, Emilio and Antonio, Cristina said, “Our family is pleased to serve as Honorary Chairs of the Knights and Princesses Dream Ball at Dallas Children’s Theater. Having seen firsthand the benefits that theater has provided our own children, we are excited to be a part of raising funds for adapted performances for children with special needs. After all, every child deserves great live theater! We hope everyone will join us in bringing the magic of live theater to all children.” . The Ball will follow a performance of the season opener RAPUNZEL! RAPUNZEL! A VERY HAIRY FAIRY TALE, and it promises to be an evening of feast, fun, and festivities. And of course, everyone is invited to dress up like the royalty that they are! Proceeds fund adapted performances for children with special needs.
This year, Dallas Children’s Theater presented its first sensory-friendly production for children with special needs. The theater adapted the performance by reducing sound levels, eliminating flashing lights and keeping the overall house lights up a few levels higher than for a standard performance. In concert with experts from Autism Speaks, the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities at UT Southwestern, University of North Texas Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences and the Health Science Center and the Autism Center, Children’s Medical Center and the Dallas Museum of Art, other changes to the production are recommended and made if it is decided they are necessary to provide a more comfortable experience for the families.
Families take solace knowing that they are among kindred spirits and don’t have to be self conscious about their child talking during the show or reacting to what they see on stage. Parent Jill Rowlett was ecstatic when she learned of Dallas Children’s Theater’s new initiative. She said, “I LOVE that you are doing this play with sensory integration! It gave me a lump in my throat! For those with disabilities and their parents, this is a dream. A place to take our children where they will fit in or at least be understood and accepted is rare… even these days when you think it would not be. Parents being able to actually share family time out of their homes, without constant tension and worrying how their child will react… or how the public will react, is such a help for so many.”
Project Director Nancy Schaeffer has a vision to make sensory-friendly programming a permanent part of DCT’s offerings. “We are so fortunate that this work has been funded for the calendar year 2014. But we’ve heard the need and we have a dream to ensure these families in Dallas can come see shows like this year after year after year after year. I would also like to create dedicated academy classes for children with autism, Asperger syndrome, Down syndrome and other developmental disorders. There is some integration in our Academy even now, but additional funding would enable us to provide these experiences for so many more than we currently have the capacity to serve. In order to make this dream a reality, we need funding. Attending the Dream Ball is one way to support or if a company, individual or a foundation would like to learn more about how they can support sensory-friendly programming at DCT through a tax-deductible contribution in general, they can contact Michael Gonzales at DCT.
WHEN : Saturday, September 20, 2014
Show: 4:30 p.m.
Dream Ball: Starts at 6 p.m.
Dallas Children’s Theater
Rosewood Center for Family Arts
5938 Skillman Street
Dallas, TX 75231
TICKETS: Dream Ball is $50 per person.
Show tickets are separate. Interested persons can call the box office at 214-740-0051 to reserve their seats to both the show and the party.