US Theatre Development Fund awarded grant to expand captioning services

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Thursday, 30 June 2011 10:41am

The Broadway, US-based Theatre Development Fund has been awarded a grant to partner with 11 regional theatres in a national theatre captioning initiative.

In response to numerous requests from arts organisations outside New York, the not-for-profit Theatre Development Fund (TDF) developed the National Open Captioning Initiative. The initiative targets regional areas where captioned theatre is not in use, and provides organisations with the skills to provide the captioning service and raise awareness of the value of open captions.

The National Endowment for the Arts, an independent agency of the Federal Government, recognised the significance of TDF’s grant application for the initiative, and has recommended a grant of $30,000.

In expanding its services outside of New York City, TDF’s Executive Director, Victoria Bailey, said, “After TDF first introduced open captioning on Broadway in 1997, we realised that there was a great need for the service to help people with mild to severe hearing loss fully enjoy live performance, not only in New York, but across the country.”

TDF’s captioning model uses an electronic text display placed on the side of the stage showing the actors’ dialogue and singing, and production sound effects simultaneous with the performance.

For the upcoming 2011/2012 theatre season, the National Open Captioning Initiative will caption 68 performances in 11 regional theatres, including theatres in Tennessee, Alabama and Oregon.

Read more on the Broadway World website.

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