Social Story

What Happens When You Go to the Theatre

Click here to download and print the Child Version of the Social Story that includes pictures.

This Parent Version of our 16-Page Introductory Social Story includes parenthetical text for the parent to help prepare their child for the experience of attending the theatre.

  1. I am going to a special live performance at Fulton Theatre.
  2. We will have to walk down a city sidewalk.   (Your child will be able to see the marquee one or two blocks before they arrive.  People will be walking in and out of the theatre.  A marquee is an awning that projects out over the sidewalk entrance to the theatre.  Fulton’s marquee will be light up, and there will be many smiling people walking in and out.)
  3. Everyone needs a ticket to get inside the theatre.  Sometimes I may have to wait quietly.  (A box office is where tickets are sold for admission to a performance.  The Fulton’s box office is in the weather lobby.  There is a wall to the left, with two unblocked holes where two box office associates help patrons.  The weather lobby has an echo.  We encourage the use of gum and earphones!)
  4. As I enter the theatre, an usher will scan my ticket.  The scanner will beep. The usher will tell me which floor to use to find my seat.   (Ushers are people who show people to their seats.  At the Fulton, ushers wear black skirts or pants, white tops and red bow ties.  Ushers can direct you to the bathroom. There is a bathroom in the lobby and on the second floor.  A water fountain can be found on the first floor. There are no automated hand dryers or toilets in our facility.)
  5. I will enter the Brossman Lobby, I can pick up a booster seat and participate in activities.  (Actors, teaching artists and friends from Schreiber Pediatric will be in the Brossman lobby.  Actors use their bodies and voices to tell a story.  They are often in costumes and makeup like people do for Halloween.  Teaching Artists are actors who also teach.  The Fulton has over 10 professionally trained teaching artists.  Many have experience teaching young people with a special need.  There will be a few activities that participants can select to do, or not.  These activities will help each child become more familiar with theatre.)
  6. Inside the lobby, I may have to wait in line to show an usher my ticket for help to my seat.  (The doors into the theatre house only open 30 minutes before the start of the show.  A house is where the audience sits. For this special workshop, the house will open one-hour before the show.)
  7. Sometimes a theatre may be crowded.  To get to my seat, I may walk in front of other people, and other people may walk in front of me to get to their seats.  People might accidentally bump me while they walk by me.
  8. During this special visit, I can walk around the theatre to find the seat where I feel most comfortable.  My perfect seat!  (The first floors offers a view with less visual distractions and softer, crisper sound.)
  9. Bells will chime and the lobby lights will flash on two occasions to help me know that the show is about to start and that I should take my seat.  A screen inside the theatre house will help me countdown for the Top of the Show (The phrase top of the show refers to the beginning of the performance.)
  10. During the show, I will sit with my family.  There may be people I don’t know sitting close to me.
  11. Before the show starts, someone will come on stage and make an announcement.   (A Curtain Speech happens at the top of every Fulton show. A speaker stands center stage to welcome the audience and thank special people and organizations.)
  12. At the beginning of the show, the lights will darken. Everyone, including myself, will be quiet, so that we can hear the show.
  13. There may be things that make me nervous like loud noises and lights.  If I get nervous during the show, I can: cover my eyes, wear earphones, hold my parent’s hand, or play with my fidget.
  14. If I see something that I like or think is funny, I can clap my hands or laugh.  Others sitting by me might clap and laugh at things too. If the clapping is too loud, I can: cover my ears, wear earplugs, or wear headphones.
  15. I know the show is over when the actors bow.  Everyone will clap and cheer.  (Actors stand in a line and bow to the audience.  A bow is a bend of the head and upper body.  This is a sign of appreciation and thanks.)
  16. When the show is over, the lights will come back on and everyone will leave the theatre.  The aisles may be crowded as everyone exits.  I will wait my turn to use the aisle and exit through the doors.