Victor Palacio, a Manhattan Star Academy student, had the time of his life attending his first Blue Man Group show at Astor Place Theatre in New York City with his family on October 1.
YAI teamed up with Blue Man Group to bring the sensory-friendly performance to people with disabilities. The show included modifications, such as reduced sound and light levels, limited audience interaction, and quiet zones in the lobby for anyone seeking a sensory break from the high-energy show. Earplugs were also available upon request.
“I’ve probably had some of the most endearing audience interactions [of my career] during these performances,” explained Callum Grant one of the Blue Men, who warmly recalled the time an audience member stood up to hug him in the middle of a sensory-friendly show in Chicago. “I had to fight to remain in character and not tear up, to be honest.”
Victor, an eight-year-old with autism, and his twin sister Vivienne, along with his parents, had front row seats to the show and got a chance to be part of the interactive performance.
“It was a safe space and it was beautiful, welcoming, and amazing and everyone was there with someone who was in this type of community–it was for all ages of people with special needs and that’s what I loved about it,” said Daphne Palacio, Victor’s mother.
The electric show had it all with lights, colors, sounds, and a whole lot of surprises–all things Palacio says Victor handled very well. He paid attention to what was happening while smiling and laughing the whole time.
“He was so receptive to everything, and I am proud of how he got through something that he’s never experienced,” said Palacio. “Things like this are what prepare him for life. It’s really nice to have Blue Man Group support our kids this way.”