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Milwaukee Ballet's Annual Sensory-Friendly Performance of The Nutcracker Partnership with Autism Speaks and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts gives new live theater option for the community

Milwaukee Ballet is thrilled to host a sensory-friendly version of The Nutcracker for children and families with autism or other sensory processing disorders, December 19 at 6 pm at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.

This is the third consecutive year Milwaukee Ballet will offer this adapted performance in partnership with Autism Speaks and the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. Milwaukee Ballet is thrilled to have We Energies as the presenting sponsor of the forty-first year of The Nutcracker.

By making small adjustments to the holiday classic, including using pre-recorded music to control the volume, taking out the pyrotechnics and designating a quiet area, Milwaukee Ballet hopes it will help patrons with sensitivity issues feel comfortable attending the show in a welcoming, positive environment. Run time for this performance is approximately two hours with one, 15-minute intermission.

Come early to meet the dancers in the lobby.

What makes our performance of The Nutcracker a sensory-friendly show?

Relaxed House Rules

  • General seating
  • Squishy toys & fidgets available
  • House lights remain on
  • Doors remain open for exiting theater as needed
  • Use of tablet/smartphones allowed (no photos of performance)
  • Designated 'Quiet Zone' in Green Room for breaks during performance

Performance Adaptations

  • 'Meet & Greet' with performers from 5:15 PM - 5:45 PM before the show to familiarize yourself with the characters.
  • Recorded music to control volume output
  • No flashing lights, stage fog/smoke or sudden sounds

Adjusted Performance Run Time

  • Act I: 46 minutes
  • Intermission: 15 minutes
  • Act II: 41 minutes
"At its heart, The Nutcracker is a story about the magic and mayhem that happens when families gather for the holidays. We want to ensure as many families as possible can make memories with their loved ones at our performance each year." - Artistic Director Michael Pink
The Nutcracker. Photo: Mark Frohna

Tickets are general admission for only $20.

This performance is in partnership with Autism Speaks and the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.

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