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Major expansion of accessible programing is coming to Grand Rapids Civic Theatre

Civic Theatre will be adjusting the way their live performances are displayed so a wider range of people may enjoy live stage productions.
Credit: Grand Rapids Civic Theatre

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Civic Theatre announced today that they will be expanding their accessible programming. The goal of this expansion is to allow more people to feel welcome in their theatre. 

Civic Theatre's 97th season is underway, kicking it off with School of Rock on August 5. 

“We believe that all people should experience the thrill, excitement, and storytelling of live theatre. Our expanded programming is a big step toward achieving that goal.” said Allyson Paris, Civic Theatre’s Artistic Director. 

Audio descriptive performances will now be available to those with impaired vision. There will be live commentary entwined with the actors' dialogue. Touch tours will also be provided before the show to get a feel for the set. 

On the Thursday before the show opens, Civic Theatre will offer a preview performance where the price of your ticket is what you are willing or able to provide for the production. 

American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters will sign the entire performance for those with hearing impairments. 

Low sensory night is an existing offering at Civic Theatre but will be expanded this coming season and on. This includes limited seating, reduced sound volume, and adjusted lights. They will also give the audience members a chance to learn about the show prior to it starting. This will make the performance more accessible for those with different sensory needs as well as their caretakers and family members. 

The last installment of the expansion of accessible programming will be relaxed environment performances. These performances are great for those who benefit from making noise, leaving and returning to their seats, and access the toilets while the performance is underway. This includes and is not limited to those with dementia, anxiety, those on the autism spectrum, health conditions, or learning disabilities. 

Grand Rapids Civic Theatre leaders are, "excited about the new programming and are looking forward to the idea of welcoming new people into their space."

To purchase tickets, click here. 

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