In 2013, Lincoln Center became the first major cultural institution to commission an original work for young audiences on the autism spectrum and their families, titled Up and Away. While sensory-friendly programming or adapted versions of existing works had been offered by some institutions, Up and Away, created by Trusty Sidekick Theater Company, was groundbreaking because it was designed especially for an audience on the autism spectrum across all aspects of production: script, design, and experience.
Filmed in 360 during Lincoln Center’s Big Umbrella Festival in April 2018, now audiences everywhere can join the Fogg Family on a multisensory journey through the sky in their very own hot air balloon. With playful puppetry, whimsical storytelling, and enchanting music, young balloonists and their families can experience the wonder of the world above the clouds.
“[Up and Away] is small-batch, immersive theater at its most thoughtful and deliberate." – New York Times
Created by Trusty Sidekick Theater Company
Jonathan Shmidt Chapman – Original Director
Drew Petersen – Playwright & Co-Lyricist
Peter Musante – One-on-One Experience Director
Nick Benacerraf – Environmental Designer
Major support for the Big Umbrella Festival provided by Betty and John Levin, Ann and Thomas Unterberg, and The Taft Foundation.
Additional support provided by the Abraham and Mildred Goldstein Charitable Trust, The FAR Fund, Kenneth Goldman Donor Fund, J.E. & Z.B. Butler Foundation, and John H. and Ethel G. Noble Charitable Trust
The Big Umbrella Festival was made possible by public funds facilitated by the following
New York City Council's Autism Awareness Initiative
The Honorable Gale A. Brewer, Manhattan Borough President
The Honorable Corey Johnson, Speaker, New York City Council
The Honorable Melissa Mark-Viverito, former Speaker, New York City Council
The Honorable Diana Ayala, New York City Council, Chair of the Committee on Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addiction
The Honorable Andrew Cohen, New York City Council, Chair of the Committee on Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Disability Services
This program was made possible through a grant from NEXT for AUTISM from the proceeds of Night of Too Many Stars