School & Family Magazine Newstand Frisco ISD November 2017 - Page 15

traditional performances. ATI provided technical guidelines for lighting and sound for the special mat- inee, as well as tips for how to interact with guests bothered by bright lights, shouting or loud music. The musical will be presented with the volume lowered and overhead lights on to enable audi- ence members to move around during the show. Guests may dance and sing along with the cast and are welcome to bring along items that might provide comfort such as headphones, blankets or stuffed animals. In addition, special education staff will be on hand to assist those with sensory needs. A quiet room will be available for guests who need to take a break from the show. “This is a wonderful opportunity for stu- dents with sensory needs and their fami- lies,” said Special Education Coordinator Blake Lowell. “Too often, children with disabilities don’t feel comfortable or ac- cepted in traditional settings. As a result, their exposure to certain activities or ex- periences can be limited. “It impacts their parents and siblings too. When you have a student with special needs in your family, it can shrink your world dramatically. This performance pro- vides an opportunity these families might not have otherwise.” Wakeland students from all aspects of fine arts are involved in the producing “Beauty and the Beast.” Students will even serve as ushers during the sensory-friend- ly matinee. Junior Elizabeth Dye (Belle) and se- nior Mark Doerr (Gaston) were cast a few weeks into the school year and began working on their lines and choreography right away, taking into account their mati- nee audience and the impact on their per- formance. The entire company will adapt in some way, though the script and music will remain unchanged. “The role of Gaston will definitely have to be toned down and on the quieter side of things,” Doerr said. The entire school is looking forward to the show and their special guests. The cast of Wakeland High School’s “Beauty and the Beast” take notes on their places and choreography for one the musical’s early scenes. “Theatre can do so many things and touch so many lives,” Dalfonzo said. “We really want to fill the seats and impact these kids in a special way.” For a sensory-friendly theatre experi- ence without having to go to Broadway, Wakeland High School says, “be our guest.” n WANT TO GO? Sensory-friendly matinee: Saturday, January 20, 2018 at 2 p.m. Traditional performances: January 11-21, 2018 See the full schedule and buy tickets at Junior Elizabeth Dye (right) rehearses a scene with junior Casey Stutts (left). FOCUS | 15