The cool thing Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark did for autistic kids

Contributed by
Feb 7, 2013, 2:08 PM EST (Updated)

The big-budget Spider-Man musical is getting an overhaul, but it's not quite what you think.

The Theatre Development Fund has bought up every last ticket for Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark's April 27 performance, and they've done it for a rather novel and noble reason.  They're planning to offer up those tickets at substantially discounted rates for children with autism and their families.

That's incredibly kind of the nonprofit, but that's only the start of this story.  The thing about the Spider-Man musical is that it's very effects-heavy.  There's lots of loud noises and bright, flashing lights.  It's also in the ballpark of 165 minutes in length.  Add it all together and you get something that could easily become an autistic child's worst nightmare.

But kids with autism and their families need heroes like Spider-Man.  With all that in mind, the show is being altered to remove harsh lighting and loud sound effects.  Moreover, a section of the theater will also have bean bag chairs and coloring books for any children who find they might be in need of a break.  Turn off the Dark's producers, Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris, said they are "delighted to have the opportunity to share our production with those affected by autism."

This will be the fifth show for which the TDF has managed to craft special performances for kids on the autism spectrum.  This one is incredibly special, though, since Spider-Man is such a great hero to kids.  Kudos to the producers and TDF for making it happen.

(via Gawker)