The Theatre Development Fund (TDF) program aimed at providing theatre access to those with hearing loss -- Theatre Access Project or TAP -- marks its 20th year providing special open captioned and sign language interpreted performances of Broadway and Off-Broadway productions with the first theatre tour to London for people with hearing loss. Scheduled for March 25-April 2, the tour is organized in conjunction with the Advocates For Better Communications and The League for the Hard of Hearing.
For the first time, TDF says, American theatregoers with hearing loss will have the opportunity to fully enjoy London's theatre through special open captioned performances.
TAP's program includes an open-captioned performance of the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Antony and Cleopatra, as well as an open-captioned performance of a West End theatre production as yet to be assigned.
"TDF is honored to be able to offer added access to London's deaf and hard of hearing theatregoers through the open captioning system," said TAP director Lisa Carling in a paper statement.
Carling said the open captioning system, developed by Don DePew, has proven successful on Broadway during the past three years. "Open captioning brings a new option and an added dimension for these theatregoers," Carling said.
The seven night, eight day tour includes a backstage tour of the Globe Theatre, an evening at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and visits to the Millennium Dome in Greenwich and the Courtauld Galleries. A group FM system will be donated by Phonic Ear. The tour was designed for people with hearing loss who use hearing aids and assistive devices -- there will be no sign language interpreting on this trip.
Deadline for reservations is Feb. 10. Package price is $1,999 per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplement may be added for $430. For information call (212) 221-0885, ext. 257 or TTY (212) 719-4537.
-- By Murdoch McBride