30 Accessible Theatre Performances Coming Up in Calgary This Season

The Good Host program works with theatre companies to present performances that include live audio descriptions, pre-show touch tours, American Sign Language interpretation and relaxed performances.

Theatre Calgary presents a relaxed performance of Noised Off on Wednesday, September 25 at 11 a.m. Photograph courtesy of Theatre Calgary.

Often, people with disabilities aren’t able to fully engage with the arts in the same way as the able-bodied, but Calgary’s Good Host Program is changing that. The program collaborates with theatre companies of all sizes to improve inclusion and accessibility for Calgary’s disabled community.

Col Cseke, artistic director at Good Host’s partner company Inside Out Theatre, describes the program as a warm welcome into theatre spaces, with each space anticipating the needs of different communities. “The people in these communities have never been invited to come see theatre, or even been marketed to,” he says. “Every step we take, we’re working with the community we’re trying to reach.”

Accessible performances include relaxed performances, audio described performances and ASL interpreted performances. Here’s what to expect and the upcoming accessible performances in the 2019/20 season for theatre companies including Theatre Calgary, Alberta Theatre Projects, Vertigo Theatre, StoryBook Theatre, Making Treaty 7 and the University of Calgary.

Relaxed Performances

During these performances, audience members are welcome to move around or engage in other behaviours that might be seen as disruptive in order to enjoy the show.

“We’ll have a chill-out zone in the lobby for people with autism or sensory processing concerns,” Cseke says. “If the world of the play is a little too intense, they can come and chill out for a while. The biggest thing is that all those really strict theatre-going rules get relaxed for a bit.”

The plays are also often modified slightly by eliminating some of the strobe effects or loud noises. These shows are welcoming for anyone with sensory concerns, dementia or autism.

Audio Description

For visually impaired theatregoers, audio described performances include a tactile tour before the show, which gives the audience a chance to touch the set and costumes. During the play, patrons have radio-connected headphones where an actor gives a live audio description throughout the play. “The audio description we write describes all of the visual elements of the play,” Cseke says. “The performance of these descriptions will match the intensity, mood or tone of the scene … hopefully building in listeners’ imaginations what the sighted audience sees.”

ASL Interpretation

For these performances, American Sign Language interpreters are at the side of the stage during the performance.

Upcoming accessible performances for the 2019/20 season

 

Relaxed performances

Noises Off

Theatre Calgary in Max Bell Theatre, Arts Commons
Wednesday, September 25 at 11 a.m.
Tickets are available online at theatrecalgary.com or by calling 403-294-7447

509

Making Treaty 7 at The Grand
Sunday, October 13 at 1:30 p.m.
Tickets available at Showpass

Iceland

Theatre Calgary in Max Bell Theatre, Arts Commons
Wednesday, October 30 at 11 a.m.
Tickets are available online at theatrecalgary.com or by calling 403-294-7447

Curious George: The Golden Meatball

StoryBook Theatre at Beddington Theatre Arts Centre
Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 11 a.m.
Tickets are available online at storybooktheatre.com or by calling 403-216-0808 ext. 1

In Flanders Field

Lunchbox Theatre at the base of the Calgary Tower
Tuesday, November 5, 2019, noon
Tickets are available online at lunchboxtheatre.com or by calling 403-265-4292 ext. 0.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Alberta Theatre Projects in Martha Cohen Theatre, Arts Commons
Thursday, December 5, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. and Tuesday, December 10, 2019, 11:30 a.m.
For tickets, call 403-294-7475

Last Christmas

Lunchbox Theatre at the base of the Calgary Tower
Friday, December 6, 2019, noon
Tickets are available online at lunchboxtheatre.com or by calling 403-265-4292 ext. 0.

Roald Dahl’s Matilda: The Musical

StoryBook Theatre at Beddington Theatre Arts Centre
Friday, December 6, 2019 at 7 p.m.
Tickets are available online at storybooktheatre.com or by calling 403-216-0808 ext. 1

Junior Claus: The Musical

StoryBook Theatre at Beddington Theatre Arts Centre
Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 11 a.m.
Tickets are available online at storybooktheatre.com or by calling 403-216-0808 ext. 1

A Christmas Carol

Theatre Calgary in Max Bell Theatre, Arts Commons
Friday, December 27 at 4 p.m.
Tickets are available online at theatrecalgary.com or by calling 403-294-7447

The Louder We Get

Theatre Calgary in Max Bell Theatre, Arts Commons
Friday, February 21 at 11 a.m.
Tickets are available online at theatrecalgary.com or by calling 403-294-7447

The Neverending Story

StoryBook Theatre at Beddington Theatre Arts Centre
Friday, March 6, 2020 at 7 p.m.
Tickets are available online at storybooktheatre.com or by calling 403-216-0808 ext. 1

Admissions

Theatre Calgary in Max Bell Theatre, Arts Commons
Wednesday, March 25 at 11 a.m.
Tickets are available online at theatrecalgary.com or by calling 403-294-7447

A Year with Frog and Toad

StoryBook Theatre at Beddington Theatre Arts Centre
Saturday, April 25, 2020 at 11 a.m.
Tickets are available online at storybooktheatre.com or by calling 403-216-0808 ext. 1

Godly’s Divinia

Making Treaty 7 at The Grand
Sunday, May 10, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.
Tickets available at Showpass

Million Dollar Quartet

Theatre Calgary in Max Bell Theatre, Arts Commons
Wednesday, May 20 at 11 a.m.
Tickets are available online at theatrecalgary.com or by calling 403-294-7447

Big Fish: The Musical

StoryBook Theatre at Beddington Theatre Arts Centre
Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 7 p.m.
Tickets are available online at storybooktheatre.com or by calling 403-216-0808 ext. 1

 

Audio-described performances and touch tour

This Is War

University of Calgary at University Theatre
Saturday, October 26 at 7 p.m.
Tickets available online at tickets.vendini.com

Sherlock Holmes and the Raven’s Curse

Vertigo Theatre at the base of the Calgary Tower
Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets available online at vertigotheatre.com or by calling 403-221-3707

Last Christmas

Lunchbox Theatre at the base of the Calgary Tower
Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at noon
Tickets are available online at lunchboxtheatre.com or by calling 403-265-4292 ext. 0.

A Tender Thing

Lunchbox Theatre at the base of the Calgary Tower
Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at noon
Tickets are available online at lunchboxtheatre.com or by calling 403-265-4292 ext. 0.

Cowgirl Up

Alberta Theatre Projects in Martha Cohen Theatre, Arts Commons
Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. (touch tour 6:45 p.m.)
For tickets, call 403-294-7475

Clue

Vertigo Theatre at the base of the Calgary Tower
Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets available online at vertigotheatre.com or by calling 403-221-3707

 


ASL interpreted performance

Noises Off

Theatre Calgary in Max Bell Theatre, Arts Commons
Wednesday, October 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are available online at theatrecalgary.com or by calling 403-294-7447

Iceland

Theatre Calgary in Max Bell Theatre, Arts Commons
Wednesday, October 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are available online at theatrecalgary.com or by calling 403-294-7447

A Christmas Carol

Theatre Calgary in Max Bell Theatre, Arts Commons
Thursday, December 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are available online at theatrecalgary.com or by calling 403-294-7447

The Louder We Get

Theatre Calgary in Max Bell Theatre, Arts Commons
Wednesday, February 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are available online at theatrecalgary.com or by calling 403-294-7447

Actually

Alberta Theatre Projects in Martha Cohen Theatre, Arts Commons
Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
For tickets, call 403-294-7475

Admissions

Theatre Calgary in Max Bell Theatre, Arts Commons
Wednesday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are available online at theatrecalgary.com or by calling 403-294-7447

Million Dollar Quartet

Theatre Calgary in Max Bell Theatre, Arts Commons
ASL Interpreted Performance
Wednesday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are available online at theatrecalgary.com or by calling 403-294-7447

For more information and a list of upcoming accessible performances around Calgary, visit insideouttheatre.com/good-host

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