Happening nearby: ‘Sensory-friendly’ magic performance on Nov. 19

Kevin Spencer during a sensory-friendly performance.
Kevin Spencer during a sensory-friendly performance.

Edmonds Center for the Arts Saturday Matinee programming continues with a new magic show designed to be accessible to patrons of all ages with autism or other sensory sensitivities. Called “The Magic of Kevin Spencer,” the performance is a special co-presentation with the Black Box Theatre at Edmonds Community College, and will take place at the Black Box Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 11 a.m.

Most appropriate for audiences ages 6-plus, The Magic of Kevin Spencer will feature special accommodations to include:
· ASL interpretation for deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons;
· Lower sound level, especially for startling or loud sounds;
· Lights remain on at a low level in the theatre during the performance;
· Patrons are free to talk and leave their seats during the performance;
· Designated quiet area within the theatre.

“We’re excited to be working on increasing access to ECA’s performances and programs across the board — and with this show, in particular, to engage members of our community on the autism spectrum,” said Gillian Jones, Director of Programming at ECA. “We’ve seen some amazing sensory-friendly performances developing across the country and internationally, and we feel really fortunate to have Kevin Spencer kick-off our first presentation in this format.”

Kevin Spencer is a world-renowned illusionist with dozens of accolades to his credit including 2015 International Magician of the Year and six-time recipient of Performing Arts Entertainer of the Year. He is also a teaching artist, researcher, consultant and film producer, as well as faculty in the special education program at Carlow University (PA). He believes strongly in the power of the arts to impact the quality of people’s lives.

Spencer’s groundbreaking research on the educational benefits of integrating magic tricks into the classroom for all students, including those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and intellectual/developmental delays, has been published in national scholarly journals. A feature article in Inside Autism magazine called Spencer “the kid whisperer,” thanks to his keen ability to connect with children with ASD.

Tickets to The Magic of Kevin Spencer are $10/$2 Arts for Everyone for low-income families and older adults. Purchase tickets online at www.ec4arts.org, by phone at 425-275-9595, or in person at 410 4th Ave. N. (Arts for Everyone tickets available by phone or in-person only.)

In addition to his Saturday Matinee, Spencer will lead two performances of The Magic of Kevin Spencer for school groups and homeschool families on Friday, Nov. 18, and a continuing education workshop for teachers on Nov. 17, called Hocus Focus.

The Kevin Spencer Residency is made possible with the generous support of the Hazel Miller Foundation, ArtsWA, The Boeing Company, Edmonds Arts Festival Foundation, Senator Marko Liias, and Nancy Bittner.

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