THEATRE ACCESSIBILITY : BROADWAY BASICS [CC]


So I already took a take of this video, and I hated every second of it So that was reading from a script so we’re just gonna Throw this thing that’s a laptop throw it…. we’re gonna throw it out the window, ready? Byyyyeeeeeeeee! *laptop crashes and falls* Hey dudes! Today I am back and better than ever; I have a degree and a really cool internship and I’m back on the YouTubes. *sigh* This is gonna be blog style apparently? Today we’re gonna talk about something that’s super close to my heart: theatre accessibility. Now what the fuck does that mean, Sam? It just means, the aptly titled Theatre Accessibility: Broadway Basics. This video is gonna be about the very basic accessible options that are available at almost every Broadway theater, Now each Broadway theater is different and each production is different So if you want to go see your show, you’re gonna have to look into it to see if this stuff is available. So I’ve broken this down into three parts the first part is the When. When are you gonna go see a show? Well sometimes, you can’t choose that. There are certain services available that are only available on certain days. So you kind of have to plan your life around it. (Seriously.) Audio descriptions are available for people who are blind or low vision. They are verbalizations of the physical action on stage through the pauses in dialogue. They are for people who are blind or low vision. The second of these are open caption performances, so caption performances are available for people who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing, They are an electronic or digital screen that displays all the dialogue and any sort of sound effects that are made through the show. There are also ASL interpreted performances. They are not very often However, they are incredible. It is living and breathing the show.. …through the interpreters in this beautiful American Sign Language. I would recommend it! Those three services are provided through the– Those three services are available through the TDF’s Theatre Accesibilty Program (TAP.) (Which was really hard for me to say even though I use this all the time.) You can become a member for free and from there you can purchase tickers, which are usually at a discounted rate, and I highly recommend it! Also, in addition to that, Roundabout Theatre Company uses Hands On, which is an interpretive service. You can get those by becoming a member of the Roundabout Theatre Company, I’ll also link that below. TDF has also created the Autism Theatre Initiative (ATI,) which provides autism-friendly performances to multiple Broadway shows. To make it autism-friendly, they modify the sound and the lighting to not be as harsh or jarring so that people with autism can enjoy the performance. There are also quiet areas and activity areas, so if people need to leave in the show, they have a place to go! Awesome! I will also link that below. The second part of this phase [is] the Where. Now, if you’re purchasing tickets through those services, you don’t really get to choose your seats–so advocate for yourself! Email wherever you need to email to get the seats you need. You got this. However, if you’re not using one of those services you are generally selecting your own seats, which is awesome. Now, all theaters have wheelchair accessible seating. Those locations very theater to theater. Access–ahhhhhh Some–hmm, key word: some–Broadway theaters have accessible seats for people who are low vision and blind and d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing. I know this to be true at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. They have seats available in the first two rows on the side and if they are AMAZING. Most Broadway theaters don’t have elevators so make sure when you’re purchasing tickets, that it is a place that you have access to. If there are any issues with that, you can contact either the box office or the house manager at the specific theatre. Um, contact me if you need any help with that. So you’ve got your tickets. You know where you’re sitting or you know that you have some sort of accessible performance happening It’s the day of the show What else is there available? Let me tell you. You have assistive listening devices. Now assistive listening devices come in a couple of different forms, however— *loud motorcycle* …that was aggressive., motorcycle. But generally, there’s some sort of headphones or headsets that sometimes is connected to a little box and they transmit the sound from the theater into the box into your ears. And it’s some sort of amplification of sounds, so you have volume controls, and it’s pretty good. There’s also a hearing loop system in some theaters which is called the T-coil setting and that is a setting that is built-in to your hearing aids or cochlear implants and it is translating the sound electromagnetically? So you don’t need any of those little boxes or any other thing but the things that are already in your ear or implanted on your brain. (That was really descriptive Sam, why did you say that?) The final assistive product I am talking about today is the most exciting one for me And that is the i-captioning devices!! Now these are not available at all theaters, so check to see which shows have them. They are some sort of device, whether it be an iPhone or an iPad, that displays all of the dialogue from the show right in the palm of your hand. I LOVE THESE THINGS. I haven’t used one yet, but I’m so excited to use it. I love the versatility of it. I love that people can access what they need to and if I need to put this thing closer to my face because I can’t see it, I can see it better!!!! I think I covered everything… These are very brief overall descriptions of all these things, if you want me to go into more detail about what the services are and my experiences with them, let me know which ones you wanna see. Yeah, I’ve used open captioning a LOT of times. I’ve used ASLinterpretation, I’ve used the audio description… I’ve also used the accessible seating for people who are d/Deaf/hard of hearing and/or blind and low-vision. So, if you have any questions about those I’m happy to answer them. What else do you guys want me to talk about it? Um…. Okay, that’s it. Okay. We’re gonna get it. We’re gonna get nice and intimate for this part of this video… Okay friend to friend. Support the arts. Seriously, in these trying times we NEED the arts. *sigh* I know that the arts aren’t always accessible or inclusive to all of us and that can really really deter us from wanting to go. And… we need to… fight against the systematic exclusion of theatre, to work together to create a universally accessible theatre. That’s gonna take some time, but.. We’ve already started it… …let’s keep going!!!!

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