The Theatre Development Fund has named a series of regional theatres that will benefit from its National Open Captioning Initiative (NOCI). The program grants theatres a model, resources, and training in the implementation of open caption services for audience members who are deaf or hard or hearing.
NOCI is a two-year partnership. In the first year, TDF provides open captioning for one performance of each show in the season, which is repeated in the second year in addition to helping the theatre develop a sustainability plan. The goal of the initiative is that after the two years, more theatres around the country will be able to continue expanding their access for audience members in their communities.
The new theatres that TDF will provide open captioning for are: Cleveland Play House (Cleveland, Ohio), Geffen Playhouse (Los Angeles, California), Goodspeed Musicals (East Haddam, Connecticut), Laguna Playhouse (Laguna Beach, California), Palace Theater (Waterbury, Connecticut), and Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (Beverly Hills, California).
“This is quite an exciting group of new theatres that have proven their commitment to further welcoming people with hearing disabilities to their productions,” said Lisa Carling, TDF’s director of Accessibility Programs.
Theatres for which TDF will provide sponsorship for their second year participating in the program are: AT&T Performing Arts Center (Dallas, Texas), Dallas Theater Center (Dallas, Texas), Imagination Stage (Bethesda, Maryland), Slow Burn Theatre Company (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida), and TimeLine Theatre Company (Chicago, Illinois).
Since TDF launched the National Open Captioning Initiative (NOCI) in 2004, it has provided open-captioning to 51 theatre companies.