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Experience the Center in a Relaxed Environment

Midland Center for the Arts is committed to providing a supportive and welcoming environment that makes live performance and our museums accessible to those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), developmental and physical disabilities, sensory processing disorders, PTSD, and for other sensory-sensitive people with their families.

Upcoming Relaxed Events

HONK: Relaxed Performance

FEB 25, 2023 / 3 PM

An updated and stylish retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen story The Ugly DucklingHonk! entertains both children and adults. Winner of the Lawrence Olivier Award for Best Musical in 2000, it incorporates a message of tolerance.

The musical is set in the countryside and features Ugly, a cygnet who is mistaken as an ugly duckling upon falling into his mother's nest. It soon becomes clear that he is no ordinary Duck. Mocked on the farmyard, pursued by the ever-hungry Cat, Ugly finds himself lost on a nearby marsh in the middle of a duck-shoot and embarks on an odyssey through the countryside, meeting a battery of colorful characters and finding himself, and love, along the way. With a tuneful score, witty lyrics and book, Honk! confirms that Drewe and Stiles are "the brightest hopes for the future of the British musical." -Daily Telegraph.

A social story and FAQ will be available closer to the performance.

What is a Relaxed Performance?

Relaxed performances feature the same content and performers as other performances of a show, with some simple changes to the environment, including:

  • Lower light and sound levels, with special effects like strobe lights and smoke removed
  • House lights kept at a low level to allow movement around the auditorium
  • House doors are kept open; audience members are welcome to stand, move around, and leave as need be
  • Audience members are welcome to bring their own manipulatives, seat cushions, comfort objects, headphones, electronics, special snacks, and other support items to the show.
  • A designated Take-A-Break Space available with quiet activities near the theater
  • Trained volunteers on hand
  • A Social Story that portrays the theatre-going experience with pictures and text
  • A scene-by-scene summary of the plot of the show or a playlist of the concert repertoire
  • The performance is a shush-free zone - audience members can talk quietly or express themselves freely during the performance

Sensory Friendly Backpacks


We wish to create a positive environment for people of all sensory needs when visiting the Museum of Science & Art and attending Midland Center performances. Sensory Friendly Backpacks are available to check-out during your experience. Just ask Guest Services when you arrive!

Sensory Friendly Backpacks include:
  • Social story
  • Stress ball
  • Fidget toy
  • Water toy
  • Noise-dampening headphones