A Relaxed Environment (RE) is created for audiences who have various access needs that a traditional theatre environment does not accommodate. Before a Relaxed Environment performance, audiences will get a visual story that gives them all the information they need to know for the performance (directions to the theatre, pre-show warnings, etc.)
During a Relaxed Environment performance an audience member can: enter and exit the theatre, move around throughout the theatre, can make noise or sounds, and those who need to keep their phone on will be able to do so as long as it is on silent or on vibrate. Our Relaxed Environment is a Scent Free Environment. Throughout the show, there will be some light over the audience.
A Sensory sensitive (SS) performance includes everything for a Relaxed Environment PLUS the sound, lighting and projections or elements of the performance might be altered or designed for that specific show to better include audiences who are sensitive to sensory stimulation (for example: Autistic People) . For example if there are flashing lights they might be slowed down or the contrast might be changed so that it is not as intense.
Access our general Theatre Passe Muraille Visual Story Here.
If you leave the theatre at any time there is a Relaxed space in the lobby you can visit. Our Relaxed Space is a quiet space equipped with comfortable seating, blankets, and sensory objects for any patrons who need a break from or would like to experience the performance in a more low-intensity environment.
Relaxed Environment Performances in our 23.24 Season
VUKA | Relaxed Environment
No One is Special at the Hot Dog Cart | Relaxed Environment
Woking Phoenix | Relaxed Environment
Show Run: April 18-27, 2023
Frequently asked questions about Relaxed Performances:
Many people may choose to attend a Relaxed Environment, either as an access requirement or because they like the inclusive environment.
Relaxed Environment Performances take a laid-back approach to noises or movement coming from the audience. They give everyone permission to relax and respond naturally. Many people feel that Relaxed Performances offer a more dynamic theatrical experience, which benefits everyone.
If you identify as being autistic, neurodivergent, disabled, or you don’t feel that traditional theatre environment meets your access needs, you may choose to go to Relaxed Environment and/or Sensory Sensitive Performance. This helps to make the environment less overwhelming.
Relaxed Environments don’t need to be complicated. The responsibility for making a show ‘relaxed’ is shared by the audience, the venue and the performers. The elements that are included are:
- A clear explanation for all audience members about what a Relaxed Environment is when you book your tickets
- Pre-show information describing what to expect from the show
- Staff who take an inclusive approach from start to finish
- An introduction at the start of the show to remind the audience that it’s a Relaxed Environment and giving anyone who needs to move or be noisy the freedom to do so
- For Sensory Sensitive: consideration given to sound and lighting levels, taking into account sensory sensitivities (eg. Any jarring light effects will be lessened or removed while any strobe-light effects will be removed from the show entirely)
- A quiet space outside the auditorium where people can go during the show if they need to
- The ability to come and go from the theatre as needed
Most of the time we can naturally edit out background noise, particularly if we know why it is happening. If you are deeply engaged in a performance, experience tells us that you will not get distracted. Many of those who attended a Relaxed Environment Performance have often said that the relaxed atmosphere has enhanced their experience. .
Yes, there is accessible seating. If you require accessible seating, please make a note when booking your tickets online or contact the Box Office at 416-504-7529 or email@example.com.
A Relaxed Environment and Sensory Sensitive performance is designed for those who have access needs that a typical theatre environment does not meet. For example, for autistic people, the sensory stimulation may be too overwhelming, so that is why sensorial effects may be slowed down or kept to a minimum. In a relaxed atmosphere, there should be no pressure to “act” a certain way. Audiences are rather welcomed and encouraged to come into the space as they are.
In the relaxed environment, there is no pressure to “act” a certain way, rather audiences are welcomed into the space as their whole self.
A visual story is a document that is used to prepare an audience for the performance and helps with making the experience of attending the theatre less overwhelming. Elements included in a Visual Story are:
- A synopsis of the show
- Pre-Show Warnings (Content, Environment, and Sensory)
- Accessible Route/Directions to the Theatre
- Photos of the Theatre and Lobby
- Photos of Characters/Cast
- And perhaps more, for example: Definitions, background on history or culture described in a play.
Disabilities are not always visible, so we will never know if a disabled person is not in attendance during our Relaxed Environment (RE) or Sensory Sensitive (SS) Performances. We should and can never assume that someone is non-disabled based on their appearance – this is actually a form of ableism.
However, if it were the case that a disabled person did not show up to a RE or SS performance, this just educated non-disabled audience members about how accessibility can be provided to disabled people. Who knows, you may know someone who would love attending a show in this type of environment!
If you have any questions, please contact the Box Office by phone at 416-504-7529 or Jenn Sartor by email