In a bold move, we decided to take the seven-year-old to see the play Busytown at Seattle Children's theater last week. I was a little nervous about it. We take him lots of places, but rarely to places where everybody is quiet and he needs to be quiet and still. We've taken him to movies a couple of times at a theater that does a monthly Special Needs Matinee. He does ok there, but he doesn't manage to stay seated the whole show; he spends some of the time wandering around the theater.
It got off to a rocky start. As soon as we sat down in our seats, he jumped up, ran down front, got up on the stage, and ran across the stage into the wings. I ran along after him, but the theater staff stopped me at the edge of the stage and said they'd bring him back to me. Fortunately, he cooperated with them and came back quietly. I spent the rest of the play either holding his hand or with my hand wrapped in his shirt.
When the play started, he paid he was quiet and attentive. He got a little agitated when they turned the lights down, but overall he seemed to be enjoying the play. He bobbed along with the music during the songs, and clapped when the audience clapped. About ten minutes before the end of the first act he got a little too worked up, and I took him out into the lobby for a few minutes. Then he went back in and was fine.
He followed the exact same pattern of behavior during the second act. When we came in from intermission, he jumped up again. This time, I was ready and managed to catch him by his fingertips and keep him from running off. He listened and watched, and again he got agitated shortly before the end of the act. I took him out and then brought him back in for the finale.
Overall, it was a very successful night at the theater.