Continuing in its efforts to make theatre accessible to all individuals, "regardless of economic constraints or physical disability," New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse now offers open captioning for certain performances of all of its mainstage productions. This makes Paper Mill the only theatre on the East Coast to do so.
Already, Paper Mill provides sign-interpreted performances, infra-red listening devices, audio descriptions for the visually impaired, large-print and Braille programs, and program information on audio tape. More than 2,500 individuals benefit from these services each year.
"Late-deafened people are often unable to follow sign language interpretation to any helpful degree, so captioning is especially meaningful to them," said a Paper Mill Playhouse patron.
The first performance utilizing the new system -- television screens with the words on them -- will be Dec. 6, for the production of Gigi. The Dec. 1 premiere of the system went off without a hitch -- a lucky thing, since at the last minute, the sign interpreter had to cancel that night.
Ray Cooney's Out Of Order will get the captioning/signing treatment Feb. 2, 1997. For more information about the Paper Mill season, please see Playbill On Line's story, "Gavin MacLeod Opens in Gigi at NJ's Paper Mill." For more information on tickets or captioning, call (201) 376-4343.
-- By David Lefkowitz