Commentary by Melissa Hook
Civic Theatre is bringing back it’s annual running of Dr. Seuss’s “Cat in the Hat,” on stage Feb. 22-March 2. This show provides access for children to attend an educational live theatre performance with their families, accommodations for children with disabilities, and scholarships for children from low income households across Hamilton, Hancock, and Marion counties. Teachers receive study guides with information about the show and lesson plan ideas to tie the performance into classroom activities. Social stories are available to help children with sensory sensitivities become familiar with the experience of attending live theatre in advance of their visit. Children who attend live theatre as a part of their educational experience greater comprehension of the material and increased classroom engagement.
When asked what the most rewarding part of the program was, Liz Lewis from Greenbriar Elementary School said: “For me it was great to see my students able to be out in the community and were accepted and their disabilities were embraced. My students loved the break from our grueling school day and were in a safe comfortable environment.”
Civic’s annual production of “Cat in the Hat” serves up to 4,500 preschool and elementary students. Civic offers inclusive performances for public and school audiences. These performances create accommodations for children who might think of theatre as inaccessible, including sensory friendly adjustments, an American Sign Language interpreter, and additional seating for children with mobility devices. Inclusive performances are on Feb. 23 and 25.
Civic is grateful for the support of Regions Bank and Citizens Energy Group during this production. To bring a group to see the show, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about reserving tickets, and about inclusive performances can be found at civictheatre.org/cat-hat.