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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Something to Look Forward to: An Evening of Accessible Theatre

I'm so excited! My new friend Julie and I are going to a closed captioned theatre performance of Eurydice at Victory Gardens Theatre, Chicago next month.

I've been a theatre buff all my life. My parents took me to community theatre productions when I was a kid. Linda, my best friend from library school, and I once went to Stratford, Canada for their Shakespeare Festival. That weekend we saw three plays: The Gondoliers, Amadeus, and A Comedy of Errors. We were part of a tour group so I prepared by reading all the scripts in advance and finding out what the critics had to say. I wanted to be able to discuss the plays intelligently with the others on the long bus ride to Canada. Linda and I really enjoyed ourselves on that trip! Before my son was born, my husband and I used to attend a dinner theatre where you could enjoy a great meal and then watch a play or musical afterwards. Sadly, that theatre closed. Two years ago, to celebrate both of us turning the big four-oh, Linda and I drove down to Indianapolis to see Underneath the Lintel, a one man play about a librarian who travels the globe to solve a mystery.

That memorable event was about six months before I was diagnosed with hearing loss. Since then, I haven't been to a play. I considered going to one with a church group, but I hesitated wondering if I would enjoy it or simply find it tiring trying to follow the dialogue. I let that opportunity pass by. Now I'm excited that I will be able to enjoy a play the same way I enjoy a film -using captions.

Through the Victory Gardens Access Project this theatre offers productions that are accessible in three different ways.

There is sign language interpretation for ASL users.

There is closed captioning for the hearing impaired like me.

For the blind there is audio description.

I'll be sure to tell you all about our evening come November. For another blogger's experience with captioned opera, read Kim's recent post.


kim said...

I didn't know about audio description. That's cool! I'm going to another theater performance at the end of this month-- a special event for the deaf. Hansel and Gretel. It's interpreted. I'll look forward to hearing your report on your theater experience. "Phantom" was great. That was a special captioned event, but the opera here is ALWAYS subtitled because it's in a foreign language. If you enjoy theater you might enjoy opera. Though I realize it doesn't suit everyone's taste. I've seen both Othello and MacBeth in opera. :-)

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Hi Kim,
I haven't had any exposure to opera since my university days. I didn't care for it then, but perhaps my taste has grown up a little. If I can find a captioned version and someone to come with me, I might try it again.
I never thought about opera being subtitled because it's in a foreign language. Thanks for pointing that out.

Karen Putz said...

Have a wonderful evening!