The venerable Stratford Festival has really gone to the dogs — in the best possible way.
Check out these pooches from K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs enjoying a “relaxed performance” at the theatre.
The dogs, which specialize in PTSD therapy, mobility and medical alert, are trained in Meaford, Ontario. And last week, a group of pups in training took some comfy seats at one of the Canada’s most celebrated theatre festivals for a performance of Billy Elliot — The Musical.
Service dogs at a relaxed performance at @stratfest @dog_rates pic.twitter.com/0SXRpAz4EX
— George Meanwell (@gmeanwell) August 12, 2019
The dogs seemed to dig it.
“It was a phenomenal show, all of our teams had a fantastic time,” the dog training organization posted on Facebook.
And Stratford loved it, too.
Bev Nicholson of the Stratford Festival said the organization was happy to welcome the furry patrons of the arts.
“It was such a pleasure to have you and your beautiful service dogs join us,” she wrote on Facebook. “They are all wonderful theatre patrons!🐾”
Because these days, everyone’s a critic.
Service dogs practicing navigating a major Theatre while @stratfest runs a full dress show with lights and sound. pic.twitter.com/7xLJnYvgpG
— WholesomeMemes (@WholesomeMeme) August 15, 2019
1) This is my new favourite photo and 2) I had no idea @stratfest did “relaxed performances” (for more info on them read this: https://t.co/lzAGcMFxpc). I know plenty of folks (#PTSD community, other invisible disabilities) who would benefit from this. I hope this spreads widely. https://t.co/W3oXaJYqq4
— Kevin Eastwood (@Kevin_Eastwood) August 13, 2019
The relaxed performance concept is meant to make the theatre more inclusive.
“Patrons of all abilities are welcome, including but not limited to those with intellectual or learning disabilities, sensory processing conditions or autism,” Stratford explains. “There is a relaxed attitude to noise and movement within the auditorium, and some minor production changes may be made to reduce the intensity of light, sound and other potentially startling effects. Babes in arms are also welcome to our relaxed performances.”
Photo George Meanwell/Twitter