As an effort to improve our inclusivity and accessibility, this season will mark our first Relaxed Performance. We have partnered with the Loot Collective to help support their production of Joe Orton’s Loot, which runs from March 8-17, 2018 at the Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley St. in Toronto. In order to provide an opportunity for all to enjoy the show, we as a group have decided to make the Tuesday March 13th, 8:00pm performance a Relaxed one.
What is a “relaxed performance”?
Relaxed performances started as a way to allow those with a disability (initially often for those on the Autism Spectrum) to still enjoy a night out to the theatre. Accommodations were made to support those who could benefit from a show taking place in a less restrictive audience environment, one that might include fewer sensory challenges (bright or flashing lights, sudden loud noises), and that would allow possible disruptions from audience members such as verbal outbursts, or the need to leave and re-enter the theatre. As more and more productions began to add Relaxed Performances to the run of their show, the concept was expanded to include accessibility for those with physical or mental disabilities and mental illness as well. The integrity of the play is maintained, but the way in which we think of interacting as audience members is changed to something less rigid, and more accommodating to those with special needs.
Who is this performance for?
This performance will be suitable for those 12 and up. The same show will be performed as on any other night, so any interested patron is encouraged to attend, however, this performance will be specially suited to those on the Autism Spectrum, those with mild to moderate cognitive impairments, those who use mobility devices and those who may need to leave the theatre suddenly due to an illness such as Crone’s or Colitis.
What will this performance be like?
This performance will include the following special accommodations;
- House lights will remain at 50%
- Sound and lighting cues will be lowered and slowed, so that there are no sudden noises or changes to the light
- Extra volunteers will be on-staff to assist those who may need to leave the theatre
- Re-entry will be allowed at any point during the show
- Actors will be made aware of possible disruptions, and will be prepared to either pause, or continue the action as necessary
- Intermission will last for 20 minutes to allow extra time for patrons to visit the washroom or concessions stand
- Complimentary tickets will be available to support workers who attend with patients or groups
- Discounted tickets will be available for all patrons
Please note that the Alumnae Theatre is an accessible venue, and those with mobility devices are able to attend any performance, however, they are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org ahead of time if they require additional assistance or if they are using a large device (such as a wheelchair).
Tickets to Loot are on sale now and can be purchase online, here. Discounted tickets costing $20 each are available to everyone for the Relaxed Performance, as we encourage members of the community to come and see how easily little changes can be made to help make theatre more accessible for everyone.