Blue Man Group “Lights It Up Blue” on World Autism Awareness Day by Kicking Off Yearlong Partnership With Autism Speaks
Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, New York and Orlando Blue Man Group productions contribute minimum of $25,000 to local programs and create sensory-friendly performances
In honor of Autism Awareness Month (April), the world-renowned Blue Man Group unveils a yearlong partnership with Autism Speaks; the company pledges to give a $25,000 donation to the cause and will host at least one sensory-friendly show, suitable for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), in each of its markets.
Throughout the month of April, Blue Man Group will take collections after each performance to be donated to local Autism Speaks programs in the following cities – Boston, Chicago and New York City. In Las Vegas, where there is no local Autism Speaks chapter, monies raised will go to Grant a Gift Autism Foundation. In addition, each production will offer sensory-friendly shows on select dates throughout the year, with a percentage of proceeds benefitting the cause.
For the sensory-friendly shows, slight modifications will be made including reducing sound and light levels at various moments during the performance and making headphones available upon request. The Blue Men will limit the amount of “chair walking” and keep their approach to the audience more subdued. Blue Man Group will also create calming environments in each theater’s lobby for families seeking a break from the excitement.
“We’ve heard from many families affected by autism that their children responded to the Blue Man character in a very moving way. We don’t know the exact reason. We can only speculate that it has to do with the Blue Men communicating in their own unique way — non-verbally, through visuals, touch and sound. Their message often resonates on a deeper, more sincere level,” said Phil Stanton, Blue Man Group Co-Founder. “Once we knew that we could be helpful or provide an outlet for those affected by autism, we felt it was important to do more. With our sensory-friendly shows, we want to create a safe and welcoming environment for individuals and families affected by this disorder, in the hopes that they can have an entertaining and joyful experience together.”
The fastest growing developmental disorder in the U.S., ASD affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys. Characteristics include social challenges, communication difficulties and repetitive behaviors. As a non-verbal, visually-stunning show, Blue Man Group serves as a great fit for all children and families.
ABOUT BLUE MAN GROUP
Blue Man Group is an award-winning global entertainment company best known for its creative stage productions around the world. It developed through collaboration between three close friends, Chris Wink, Phil Stanton and Matt Goldman on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
Blue Man Group currently has ongoing theatrical productions in Las Vegas, Orlando, Boston, Chicago, New York and Berlin, along with a North American Tour. Along with the theatre show, Blue Man Group has toured the globe with their “Megastar World Tour,” a rock concert parody, headlined onboard the Norwegian Epic, released 5 albums, contributed to a number of film scores, performed with orchestras around the country and appeared in advertising campaigns for prominent brands.
About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed more than $525 million to its mission, the majority in science and medical research. Each year, Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 100 cities across North America. On the global front, Autism Speaks has established partnerships in more than 60 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit AutismSpeaks.org.