Tony nominee Tovah Feldshuh, who recently starred as Berthe in the Tony-winning revival of Pippin, will host, and the entertainment program will include performances by the singing string quartet Well-Strung (Edmund Bagnell, Christopher Marchant, Daniel Shevlin and Trevor Wadleigh). Performers from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will make a special appearance.
The 2014 Gala will provide funds for TAP, and proceeds will support the following programs and services: Access for Young Audiences (AYA), Autism Theatre Initiative (ATI), TAP Plus, Accessible Seating, Audio Description, Open Captioning, Sign Language Interpreting, and the National Theatre Accessibility Programs, which consist of National Open Captioning Initiative and National Autism Advisory Partnerships.
"When TDF originally launched its accessibility programs in 1979, it was created to help theatregoers with mobility issues gain easier access to the theatre," said Victoria Bailey, TDF's executive director, in a statement. "It is heartening that 35 seasons later TAP provides a variety of services in NYC and around the country from open captioned performances, audio described performances and autism-friendly performances, to help make theatre accessible to all. We’re thrilled to honor the Felds because they share the belief that live performance should be available to everyone."
Feld Entertainment, Inc. owns and produces Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Feld Motorsports, Disney On Ice, Disney Live! and Marvel Universe LIVE! TDF is working with Feld Entertainment on the autism-friendly performance of Disney Junior Live on Tour! Pirate & Princess Adventure, scheduled for April 19.