The theater is for everyone, period. In order to achieve this ideal for people with companion dogs, the dogs must be trained for the specific challenges of a live performance. So a group of dogs and their handlers from K-9 Country Inn visited Service Dogs Billy Elliot The musical.
The excursion enabled the dogs to gain experience in the narrow spaces of a theater and to stay in the same place for a long time before and after the break. They also benefited from the loud noises, bright lights, and all the movement that comes with watching a live show.
The performance the dogs attended was a “relaxed performance” which means that there is more tolerance than usual for movement in the theater or sounds that the audience might make. In addition, the lights and sounds of the performance can be toned down a little. Relaxed performances are perfect for young children, people with autism, anyone who has difficulty sitting still and staying still for long periods of time, and dogs whether they’re still in training or not.
ICYMI: We’ve had some delightful viewers from K-9 Country Inn Service Dogs over the past few weeks #sfBillyElliot. Our next relaxed performance is #sfNeverending on October 2nd. https://t.co/xaBwx65W8J pic.twitter.com/otyNjm5pUS
– Stratford Festival (@stratfest) 15th August 2019
This photo of the dogs in the Stratford Festival theater west of Toronto went viral. People all over the world are delighted at the sight of dogs peeking through their seats. Who dreams of going to a musical performance with me where service dogs are present to give the human members of their team the opportunity to enjoy the show?