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High school puts on play for special needs kids

Posted at 9:37 PM, Nov 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-29 00:03:45-05

LAYTON, Utah - Northridge High School is taking the stage Wednesday night, with the spotlight of a performance being on a special group of people.

The cast of Tarzan will be performing a free show, for those with autism and their families.

Jana Coates says while Tarzan is the most technically challenging show she's directed, it's also the closest to her heart.

“Tarzan is in a world where he doesn't fit in with anyone else he's different there's nothing wrong with him and he's different,” Coates said.

Tarzan's tale reminded Coates of her nephew Brandon, who has autism.

“Kids with special needs with super powers what we call them there's nothing wrong with them they're just different,” she said.

But Coates understands taking those with autism to plays can be difficult. Some move a lot, others are very vocal, making their families feel like the spotlight is on them.

“I went to a high school performance of my son and there were people being mean to a student who was stemming as we call it and making noises,” Coates said.

That's when she got the idea for Brandon’s night; a special show for those with special needs who can watch the play- judgement free.

“My big brother has special needs,” said Julie McBride, who is part of the cast. “It's always been hard for my family to take him places and just feel free without any judgment so I feel great about this.”

This cast now truly knows the meaning of two worlds, one family.

The performance is Wednesday night. You can find out more about that showing as well as other dates and time for Tarzan at Northridge High School here: