The Burn

Relaxed/Sensory-Friendly Performance
Saturday, March 10

  • 1pm: lobby open
  • 1:45pm - 2:30pm: introduction to the world of the play: conversation with the playwright and meet the cast
  • 3pm: curtain

Waiting to buy tickets until the day of the show? No problem -- tickets will be available and walk-ups are okay!


Who it’s for

This performance - which represents Steppenwolf's pilot effort to present Relaxed/Sensory-Friendly programming - is designed to create a safe and welcoming experience for guests who may include (but are not limited to) individuals on the autism spectrum, as well as people with sensory sensitivities. Family members and companions are welcome, as is anyone who might enjoy this relaxed environment.

Please note that the content of this performance includes mild profanity and references to violence and sexuality. Ultimately left to the discretion of the individual and their guardians, our age recommendation for this production is 14 and up.

What it is

A welcoming space

While there are some simple sensory adjustments that are made to make a Relaxed/Sensory-Friendly performance (see below), the most significant modifications are philosophical and attitudinal.

For this performance, we acknowledge that some guests will respond differently to the environment and stimuli by making noise, moving and leaving their seats… and that's okay. Everyone in the theater for this show - from the performers to the ushers to all of the audience members - are excited to be helping make this experience possible.

Social support

In advance of everyone's visit, we'll share a detailed narrative about what it's like to visit Steppenwolf - from arrival in the parking garage to the role of the ushers to what it means when the lights in the lobby flash. We'll also share an overview of the play that includes a plot outline and an introduction to the characters.

We've enlisted a great team of volunteers who will be placed throughout the lobbies and theater to help with wayfinding and offer warm support.

In the lobby, we'll have a quiet area set up where guests can go if they want to take a break and relax.

(Let’s be honest – we should be doing this stuff for everyone.)

Production adjustment

A Relaxed/Sensory-Friendly performance takes into consideration those aspects of a production that can be challenging or triggering for guests, and seeks to adjust them accordingly. While we will make some sensory adjustments, we will not change the essential artistry of the play.

Working with a team of experts who are experienced with sensory sensitivities, we will make adjustments that may include:

  • Lowering light and sound cues
  • Eliminating loud or jarring effects
  • Leaving some of the house lights on so the theater won't be completely dark
  • Leaving some seats empty so that guests can move about during the performance
  • Keeping a theater door open for easy exiting and reentry during the performance

Please share your thoughts and questions

Every individual has a different path to the theater, and we're really happy to do what we can to make it as easy and welcoming as possible for everyone to be here. If you have questions or specific needs we can help address, please email

In preparing for this performance, we're lucky to be working with a group of experts and consumers who have experience living with sensory sensitivities or working with people who do. As we strive to build a program that helps everyone feel welcome, we appreciate all perspectives - please share feedback by emailing

RSF Programming Advisors

Special thanks to Parents Allied with Children and Teachers for Tomorrow (PACTT)  and the TDF National Autism Friendly Performance Training Program for serving as advisors for this programming.