Sarah RichardsDrama in education student Sarah Richards, a house manager with University Players, has helped the troupe mount a “relaxed” performance of its current production, Beauty and the Beast.

Sensory-limited performance to bring magic of theatre to new audiences

University Players will offer audience members a new theatrical experience with a “relaxed” performance of its current production, Beauty and the Beast, an opportunity to access live theatre for guests who require a limited sensory environment.

Fourth-year drama in education student Sarah Richards is responsible for the new format. As a house manager with the theatre troupe, she has seen the challenges that face audience members with individual needs.

“I wanted to make theatre an accessible experience for everyone,” Richards says. “Theatre affected me deeply growing up — I don’t think I would be the person I am today without the experiences I had, and I want to bring that opportunity to all families, without limitations.”

Beauty and the Beast opens Nov. 29 at Essex Hall Theatre; the Nov. 30 matinee will be a relaxed performance. The show runs approximately two hours and is recommended for those seven years and older.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at or by calling the box office at 519-253-3000, ext. 2808. Kids’ tickets are just $8, and regular price tickets start at $19.