Beginning with the first show of the Playwrights Horizon's 2018–2019 season—the New York premiere of Craig Lucas''s I Was Most Alive with You—the theatrical accessibility smartphone app GalaPro will be available to patrons at all post-opening performances at the Off-Broadway theatre. This integration makes Playwrights Horizons only the second theatre (following Roundabout Theatre Company) to implement GalaPro Off-Broadway, though the app is currently available for use with 13 Broadway shows.
GalaPro makes theatre more accessible to patrons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing by providing synchronized captions—Playwrights Horizons will use voice recognition technology that uses the actors' voices to ensure that captions are properly timed with stage action.
Though phone use in the theatre is usually frowned upon, GalaPro uses a black background and low-light text color while blocking notifications to create an experience that allows patrons to clearly read what is being said on stage without distracting their fellow audience members with ambient cellphone light. The app is free to download and runs on the user's personal smartphone.
Craig Lucas's I Was Most Alive with You, which features a split stage and separate casts performing the play in English and American Sign Language at the same time, is inspired by the Book of Job. The work tells the story of a man whose entire existence is threatened by a series of unexpected tests, while examining Deaf culture, addiction, and the nature of human resilience.
Already in preview performances, I Was Most Alive with You is set to to open September 24 and continue through October 14.
The Off-Broadway cast features Marianna Bassham, Michael Gaston, and Russell Harvard (in a role Lucas wrote for him and who reprises his performance from the play's world premiere in Boston), as well as Tony Award nominee Lois Smith, Tad Cooley, Lisa Emery, and Gameela Wright. The shadow cast is made up of Beth Applebaum, Kalen Feeney, Seth Gore, Harold Foxx, Amelia Hensley, Anthony Natale, and Alexandria Wailes.
Sabrina Dennison serves as director of Artistic Sign Language.
The creative team for I Was Most Alive With You also includes Arnulfo Maldonado (scenic design), David C. Woolard (costume design), Annie Wiegand (lighting design), Jane Shaw (sound design), Alex Basco Koch (projection design), Daniel Kluger (original music), and Brett Anders (production stage manager).