American theatre takes audio description to a new level

Monday, 3 November 2014 10:19am

Arena Stage in Washington DC has partnered with the American Council of the Blind to expand its established audio described theatre program to every performance of upcoming productions Fiddler on the Roof and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, Washington, DC

Audio description is usually offered on one or two performances of a production, which narrows the opportunity for blind and vision impaired patrons to attend the theatre. It is fitting then that Arena Stage is the first to expand audio description to a production’s entire season, as it was the first American theatre to offer audio description in 1981.

Arena Stage regularly runs accessible theatre sessions, offering both open captions for the Deaf and hearing impaired and audio description. Some productions also include Braille program booklets and tactile resources of costume material swatches. Rounding out the venue’s dedication to accessibility are assistive-listening technology and accessible seating to all three of its theatres.

The American Council of the Blind has worked with Arena Stage to make these two productions, to be performed between November this year and April 2015, available to a wider audience at each performance.

Find out about audio description in some of Australia’s premier arts companies on our Audio description in the arts pages.

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