The Theatre Development Fund (TDF) marks 20 years of presenting American sign-language-interpreted performances on Broadway shows with a simultaneously sign-interpreted and open-captioned performance of the Broadway hit Footloose.
Through its Theatre Access Project (TAP), TDF has presented over 300 sign interpreted and/or open captioned performances of 118 Broadway and Off Broadway shows. Of historical interest, the first Broadway show to be American Sign Language interpreted was The Elephant Man in 1980. TDF presented the first open captioned performance of a Broadway show in 1997 with Barrymore starring Christopher Plummer.
TDF has announced that at regular Footloose performances there will be three sign interpreters at the side of the stage for the benefit of a group of 100 deaf and hard of hearing school children from Kennedy High School and MS 180 in the Bronx, and the New York School for the Deaf in White Plains. There will also be an open caption box at the side of the stage for those students who do not understand American Sign Language.
For most of these children, this captioned/signed performance will be the first time any of them have ever been able to experience live theatre. Additional sign interpreted/open captioned performances of Footloose will be presented for children from nine other tri-state area school on Oct. 13, 21 and 28. In coming months, TAP will present the following sign interpreted and/or open captioned performances: Swing (Nov. 6 and 9 -- sign interpreted; Nov. 10 and 13 -- open captioned); Cats (Oct. 27 and Nov. 6 -- open captioned); Marie Christine (Dec. 4 and Dec. 22 -- open captioned); Annie Get Your Gun (Jan. 19 and 27 -- open captioned; Jan. 20 and 26 -- sign interpreted) For information on TAP, please contact TDF at: Voice (212) 221-1103; TTY (212) 719 4537; or e-mail -- firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- By Murdoch McBride