Broadway Theater Boots Boy With Autism For Being Disruptive to Cast, Mother Says - NBC Chicago

Broadway Theater Boots Boy With Autism For Being Disruptive to Cast, Mother Says

Broadway in Chicago said in a statement the company is deeply sorry for the circumstances that occurred and said the matter would be reviewed with all staff.

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    Broadway Theater Boots Boy With Autism For Being Disruptive to Cast, Mother Says

    A woman says she and her son, who has autism, were booted out of a theatrical presentation of "Aladdin" at a downtown Chicago theater Wednesday. Michelle Relerford reports.

    (Published Wednesday, May 10, 2017)

    A woman says she and her son, who has autism, were booted out of a theatrical presentation of "Aladdin" at a downtown Chicago theater Wednesday.

    Kathy Waller says she and her 7-year-old son, Thomas, were kicked out of the Broadway musical at the Cadillac Palace Theater. She says she’s been to several Broadway plays with her son and flown across the country. She's never been kicked out of anything until this week, she says.

    Waller said she and Thomas made it through four acts of the play when an usher tapped her on the shoulder and said her son was a disruption and they needed to leave. The usher told her Thomas was disturbing the cast, she said.

    While the rest of her family watched the show, Waller says she and Thomas waited in the hall.

    "He has autism, he makes noises, he can't speak," she said. "It's not in any regulation that a child with autism cannot come into the theater. I think it's discrimination."

    She asked for an immediate refund at the ticket counter but says that was denied. However moments later during our interview took a different tune.

    "I know how you must be feeling and I want to do anything I can to take care of you," Gemme Mulvihill, director of sales for the theater, told Waller. Mulvihill offered a refund and to bring Thomas to another show.

    Mulvihill says the theater is dedicated to its audiences "of all kinds."

    Broadway in Chicago said in a statement the company is deeply sorry for the circumstances that occurred and said the matter would be reviewed with all staff.

    Waller did accept the apology but says she’s not sure about attending another show.

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