The California Musical Theater announced a new program to make shows come alive for patrons with visual impairment.
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Select Saturday matinee performances of each Broadway Sacramento and Music Circus production will feature audio description. Patrons with visual impairment will be able to listen to live descriptions of the visual elements of the shows — including sets, costumes and physical action — using ear pieces provided at the theater.
The program came about after members of the American Council of the Blind Capitol Chapter, California Council of the Blind, the leading consumer advocacy organization of persons with vision loss in the Sacramento area, approached CMT regarding the status of the program to meet the needs of those in the blind community.
California Council of the Blind and the Organization of Macular Friends requested the inclusion of audio description of the visual elements of shows and continue to actively advise CMT on the development of this program.
CMT, which also offers open captioning as well as performances with sign language interpretation for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, began testing the audio description program for its visually impaired patrons with limited offerings during the Music Circus season.
“For both Music Circus and Broadway Sacramento, we want to create an environment where as many theatre-lovers as possible can experience our shows. I’m happy that we’re able to launch a program allowing patrons who are blind or have limited vision the opportunity to enhance their enjoyment of our shows, meeting an important need in that community,” Lewis said.
“It is nice to be able to attend professional theater without having to travel to the Bay Area. I no longer have to rely on my wife to describe the scenery, costumes and props, making her experience equally enjoyable,” Gene Lozano, first vice-president ACB Capitol Chapter of California Council of the Blind, said.
Margie Donovan, chair of the Advocacy Committee for the ACB Capitol Chapter, California Council of the Blind, said, “As a person who is totally blind, audio description enables me to enjoy all aspects of what is happening on the stage. Because of the newly established CMT audio description program, I am thrilled that I will be fully experiencing all aspects of live theater performances.”
“We are extremely excited about CMT’s long-term commitment to ensuring that its customers who are blind have the full theater-going experience,” Jeff Thom, immediate past president of the California Council of the Blind, said.
Following is a list of programs offered by CMT for its Broadway Sacramento shows to help provide accessibility to all patrons:
For more information about audio description or any of CMT’s programs for patrons with special needs, contact Barbara Haig, assisted arts coordinator, at 916-446-5880, ext. 149, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For tickets to described performances or information on upcoming productions, contact the box office at 916-557-1999. Be sure to request an audio description ear piece when you purchase your tickets.