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TDF announces autism-friendly performances for 2023-2024 season

The nonprofit will offer access to adjusted performances of three Broadway shows.

Elijah Rhea Johnson as Michael Jackson in “MJ” on Broadway (Credit: Michaelah Reynolds)

The nonprofit organization TDF has announced its 12th season of autism-friendly performances (AFP) for individuals and the families of those with autism and cognitive disabilities. Included in the season, to date, are Broadway’s “The Lion King,” “MJ” and “Aladdin.”

The 2023-2024 season will kick off on Oct. 1 with Disney’s “The Lion King” at the Minskoff Theatre. “MJ” will offer its first-ever AFP on March 10, 2024, at the Neil Simon Theatre. And Disney’s “Aladdin” will conclude the season on May 5, at the New Amsterdam Theatre.

In addition to these Broadway shows, TDF’s AFP season will also include a 9 a.m. performance of the “Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes” on Nov. 19 at Radio City Music Hall.

“At TDF our mission is to remove barriers to access for all audiences of all backgrounds, ages and abilities,” said TDF executive director Deeksha Gaur. “That’s because we believe that the performing arts are a right, not a privilege. What we see at our autism-friendly performances are audiences that love the theater and love the arts but are not always invited to participate. That’s where TDF comes in. We facilitate the process so audiences can see shows on their own terms and so families can have these transformative experiences together.”

AFP tickets go on sale approximately six to eight weeks prior to each performance and can be accessed through TDF’s website. Tickets for “The Lion King” are already sold out, but interested parties can sign up for email alerts for future on-sale dates.

TDF, formerly known as the Theatre Development Fund, is dedicated to providing access to the performing arts to everyone.

The AFP program first launched in 2011. The program is made possible by donations from Darlene and Stuart Altschuler, Theodore H. Barth Foundation, Harry S. Black & Allon Fuller Fund, Bradley Butwin, the FAR Fund, the Joseph H. Flom Foundation, Eric Grossman, Howard Gilman Foundation, O’Melveny, Jonathan Rosenberg, Seventh District Foundation, the Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Foundation, the Shubert Foundation, the Taft Foundation and Ronald and Catherine Weiss in honor of Joseph Flom.

The program is also supported, in part, by public funding from the New York City Department of Culture Affairs in partnership with the City Council Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities and Addiction. It is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts and is supported by New York Governor Kathy Hochul and the State Legislature.