Sensory-friendly Performance of Disney's The Lion King

Saturday September, 14 2019



The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is proud to once again partner with Disney Theatrical Productions for a sensory-friendly performance of Disney’s THE LION KING on Saturday, September 14, 2019, at 2 p.m., at the Benedum Center, 237 7th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. 

Great seats for the sensory-friendly performance are available and can be purchased through the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s official website at or by calling 412-456-2670.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is one of nine presenting arts organizations from around the country offering this special performance during the 2019-2020 season.  In 2013, Pittsburgh was the second city outside of New York City to offer Disney’s THE LION KING as a sensory-friendly performance that was presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust as part of the PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh series. This event was a significant milestone for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust that also encouraged other local presenting arts organizations to offer similar programming for the community.

This presentation and others like it continue to provide families with members on the autism spectrum, or who have other sensory sensitivities, the opportunity to experience a Broadway production together.  This goal is met through providing a friendly and supportive environment for everyone throughout their experience at the theater.  Disney’s THE LION KING sensory-friendly performance is modeled after similar performances presented by the Theater Development Fund on Broadway.  Slight adjustments to the production will be implemented, including low house lights, exclusion of strobe lighting, and softened sounds. Specially trained volunteers will be available throughout the Benedum Center to provide audience support, and the lobby will offer quiet spaces and activity areas for families.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is working closely alongside Disney Theatrical Productions, and engaging local autism organizations and a host of local community liaisons who are expertly advising on various aspects of this project.  Special thanks to Autism Connection of PA for their contributions in support of this event. Please visit  for more information about autism and related conditions.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is independently raising all the funds to underwrite expenses related to the performance.  This event is made possible by the generous support of UPMC and UPMC Health Plan, the Autism Connection of PA, Edith L. Trees Charitable Trust, FISA Foundation, Jack Buncher Foundation, and The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh.

“The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust remains committed to making theater and the arts accessible to all audiences and is proud to underwrite all tickets for this special performance, making it affordable to all patrons who require a sensory-friendly environment and their families,” says Rona Nesbit, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Executive Vice-President.  “Everyone deserves the opportunity to enjoy this world-class production, and we will continue to direct attention to matters of inclusion and accessibility.”

Disney’s THE LION KING, on tour at the Benedum Center (September 4-29, 2019), is a season special part of the 2019-2020 PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh series, presented by arrangement with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Broadway Across America.  The PNC Foundation joins the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust by bringing the best of Broadway to entertain, enlighten, and complement the rich experiences that add to the region’s exceptional quality of life. The seven season presentations and four specials for the 2019-2020 series contribute to the city’s reputation as a major destination for the arts, culture, and world-class entertainment. For more information, visit or call 412-456-4800.  For groups of 10+ call 412-471-6930 or email 




After 21 landmark years on Broadway, The Lion King continues ascendant as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world.  Since its premiere on November 13, 1997, 25 global productions have been seen by more than 100 million people.  Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), The Lion King has made theatrical history with six productions worldwide running 15 or more years.  Performed in nine different languages (English, Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese), productions of The Lion King can currently be seen on Broadway; London’s West End; Hamburg; Tokyo; Madrid; Scheveningen, Holland; on tour across Japan and North America, with a separate production touring internationally, for a total of nine productions running concurrently across the globe. 


Having played over 100 cities in 20 countries on every continent except Antarctica, The Lion King’s worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.    

The Lion King won six 1998 Tony Awards®:  Best Musical, Best Scenic Design (Richard Hudson), Best Costume Design (Julie Taymor), Best Lighting Design (Donald Holder), Best Choreography (Garth Fagan) and Best Direction of a Musical.  The Lion King has also earned more than 70 major arts awards including the 1998 NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy® for Best Musical Show Album, the 1999 Evening Standard Award for Theatrical Event of the Year and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design.   

The show’s director, costume designer and mask co-designer Julie Taymor continues to play an integral part in the show’s ongoing success.  The first woman to win a Tony Award for Direction of a Musical, Taymor continues to supervise new productions of the show around the world. 

The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice’s songs from the Lion King animated film along with three new songs by John and Rice; additional musical material by South African Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer; and music from "Rhythm of the Pride Lands," an album inspired by the original music in the film, written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer.  The resulting sound of The Lion King is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, ranging from the Academy Award®-winning song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” to Lebo M’s rich choral numbers. 

The book has been adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed the animated The Lion King feature, and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the film’s screenplay.  Other members of the creative team include:  Michael Curry, who designed the masks and puppets with Taymor, Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Michael Ward (hair and makeup design), John Stefaniuk (associate director), Marey Griffith (associate choreographer), Clement Ishmael (music supervisor) and Doc Zorthian (production supervisor). Anne Quart serves as co-producer. For more information, visit, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners.  Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District.  The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization.  A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity.  Using the arts as an economic catalyst, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life.  Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts. | @CulturalTrust on Facebook · Instagram · Twitter

Broadway Across America (BAA) is part of The John Gore Organization family of companies, which includes, The Broadway Channel, and Group Sales Box Office. Led by 14-time Tony-winning theater producer John Gore (Owner & CEO), BAA is the foremost presenter of first-class touring productions in North America, operating in 45 markets with over 400,000 subscribers. Presentations include Disney’s The Lion King, Wicked, The Book of Mormon, The Phantom of the Opera and Hamilton. Current and past productions include The Band’s Visit, Beautiful, Cats, Chicago, Dear Evan Hansen, Hairspray, Mean Girls, The Producers and Waitress.  is the premier theater website for news, exclusive content and ticket sales. For more information please visit and

Add your comment: