Sensory Friendly FAQs

CLICK HERE for the Social Narrative for James and the Giant Peach

Frequently Asked Questions about Barter Player Sensory Friendly Performances:

What is a Sensory Friendly Performance?

In order to make Barter Theatre a safe, accessible space for everyone in the community, The Barter Players are now offering Sensory Friendly Performances of select shows. These performances are designed for our patrons with sensory sensitivities to enjoy with their friends and families. We work with professionals in the field and consultants to make each show accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

What makes it a Sensory Friendly Performance?

  • These performances are “Shush-Free”, meaning you are welcome to talk, make sound, and walk around as you need to enjoy the show
  • Reduced sound levels- particularly loud or startling sounds
  • Reduction of overwhelming stage lighting (No strobes, haze, or blackouts)
  • House lights will remain on at a dimmed level
  • Trained staff and volunteers to assist and direct audience members as needed
  • Sensory supports will be available (earplugs, fidgets, activity area)
  • Designated quiet area in the Barter Lounge
  • Appropriate activities available before and throughout the show
  • Video monitor with a digital feed of the performance located in the lobby
  • Typical theatre rules are relaxed, meaning you are free to move about the theatre during the show, we welcome the use of therapeutic devices during the performance including iPads and smartphones. You may also bring in your own comfort device, manipulatives, seat cushions, headphones, and any other supports
  • Social stories available outlining what to expect upon arrival and during the show
  • Character cards with photos identifying the characters in the performance are available
  • A touch tour is available prior to the show. A touch tour gives you and your group the ability to have hands-on opportunities with pieces of the show. A trained staff member will lead you on stage where you can touch the props used in the show, different costume pieces, and different scenic elements
  • Following the performance, you are welcome to stay for a Talkback, or question and answer session, with the actors. You can ask the cast anything you want to know: how a certain prop works, how they prepare for the show, or what their lives as actors are like

What if it’s too loud in the theatre?

If you find that it is too loud, you can place your hands over your ears, or put on your earmuffs. We have a limited number of earmuffs available for you to use at the theatre, or you can bring your own. You’re also welcome to visit our quiet area in the Barter Lounge.

Will it be dark in the theatre?

The lights in the theatre will be on at a lower level.

Do you offer hearing assistance?

Barter Theatre offers a hearing loop both at Gilliam Stage, and Stage II. For more information regarding this please visit:

Do you offer ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation?

Please check the listing of the Sensory Friendly Performance to ensure we will have an ASL interpreter available. Please notify our box office when you get your tickets to ensure a seat where you can see our interpreter.

How much are tickets?

Ticket prices will be listed on our website on a show-by-show basis.

Can I get a refund if I cannot attend the show?

We operate under Barter Theatre’s standard ticket policies, including exchange and refund policies. We welcome you to speak to a box office representative at (276) 628-3991

Can I buy a ticket day of?

If the show is not sold out, yes! You’re welcome to purchase tickets online at or call our box office at (276) 628-3991. We do encourage you to purchase your tickets as soon as you know you’d like to come, so you can be sure you get a ticket in case the performance sells out.

How long are performances?

Barter Player performances run between 45-60 minutes.

What is allowed in the theatre?

During a Sensory Friendly Performance, you are allowed to enjoy the play however you would like! You can talk and move around with parental consent, have food and drink in the theatre, and use any comfort devices you prefer, including an iPad, phone, or any other fidget/tactical toy.

Can I leave if sitting through the performance is difficult for me?

Absolutely. If you find yourself feeling restless or overwhelmed, an usher (anyone wearing a tan vest) will be able to help you exit the theatre. Just outside of the theatre in the lounge there will be a quiet activity area you can visit. There will be coloring sheets, fidget toys, and tactile toys available. In the lobby, we will also have a live video feed of the performance, if you’d rather enjoy the show from there!

How can I prepare for this performance if this is a new experience for me?

To help prepare for this new experience, we invite you to view our social narratives: CLICK HERE

How to get to Barter’s Smith Theatre: CLICK HERE

What’s the seating like? Are you wheelchair accessible?

Barter Stage II has stadium style seating, which means there are stairs to access all seats not located in the first row. There are a limited number of wheelchair accessible seats available; if you require a wheelchair accessible seat, please notify box office when you purchase your tickets. Our ushers are also trained to help you transfer into the seats at the theatre if you’d prefer.

When does the theatre open?

The theatre will open approximately 1 hour before the start of the performance.

How do I get to the theatre? What is parking like?

For directions to the theatre please visit:

For parking assistance please visit:

Will food and drink be available?

We will have concessions, bottled water, and bottled soda available for purchase in our lounge. You may also bring something from home if you prefer.

Is photography or videography allowed?

Photography and videography is not allowed during the performance. However, some of the actors will be out to talk with you before the show begins and you are welcome to take photos at that time.

Who can answer my questions at the theatre?

Anyone wearing a tan vest is an usher and they are happy to help you in any way!

Are we allowed to bring our own headphones, fidget toys, or other comfort items into the theatre?

Absolutely! You are welcome to bring any item into the theatre; this includes phones, iPads/tablets, fidget toys, headphones, etc.

Additional Questions?

If you have any additional questions, you’re welcome to contact Barrett Guyton at (276) 619-3347 or