Flat Rock Playhouse in US offers audio description service for blind people

Americas, March 28 2011

Mar 28: Flat Rock Playhouse has created a new opportunity for blind people to have an enhanced theatre experience.  Sponsored by Asheville Eye Associates, the Playhouse will provide Audio Descriptive services during the final Saturday Matinee of nearly every 2011 Mainstage production.

Audio Description is a verbal commentary that speaks “between the lines” to describe entrances, exits, actions and key props to people who cannot see them. The service tells the visually impaired audience member what is happening on the stage during the parts of the performance where there is no dialogue. The description does not interfere with the performance but fills in the gaps, describing facial expressions, costume, scenery and action sequences so that anyone with a sight problem can follow the plot fully and independently.

Audio Description brings the sets, lighting, costumes, characters and onstage action alive for a visually impaired audience. Without interfering with the dialogue, the trained Audio Descriptive committee of the Supporting Players will provide a live, objective and succinct description of the action and visual elements of the play, between the actor’s lines through a wireless transmitter.  The participating patrons, who use the service, receive the Audio Description through a single earpiece and wireless receiver.

“We are taking a huge leap toward embracing inclusivity. For a lot of people this will be their very first theatrical experience,’’ says Dale Bartlett, General Manger of Flat Rock Playhouse and initiator of the project.  “This is an overdue and most welcome initiative in expanding access to live performing arts.”

All Audio Described performances, with the exception of July 1’s performance, will be held at 2 p.m.

April 16 – Music of the Night

May 7 – Moonlight & Magnolias

June 11 – Chicago

July 1 – Red, White & Tuna, screened at 8 p.m.

July 9 –Tuna Does Vegas

Aug. 13 – Hairspray

Sept. 10 – Mousetrap

Oct. 29 –The Buddy Holly Story

Nov. 19 – Doubt

Dec. 17 – Plaid Tidings

There is no charge for audio description; the Hendersonville Lions Club will underwrite a portion of the ticket cost for patrons who are in need of this service. Details and reservations for Audio Described Performances, can be made by calling the Playhouse Box Office at 693-0731 or toll-free at 866-732-8008.

Source: http://www.citizen-times.com

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