Virginia Stage Company Expands Accessibility Services

by Philip Odango

A volunteer from Access Virginia assists blind patrons with audio description devices to experience Virginia Stage Company’s production of  A Christmas Carol . (Photo by Jeff Hewitt)

A volunteer from Access Virginia assists blind patrons with audio description devices to experience Virginia Stage Company’s production of A Christmas Carol. (Photo by Jeff Hewitt)

“Upon losing my hearing, I was no longer able to enjoy theatre as I had before,” says Ronette D. Jacobs. “Five years is a very long time to not enjoy my love of theatre. The open captioning was easily read and understood. I am so grateful to be included in the arts again.” At Virginia Stage Company, we welcome all audiences to enjoy the experience of live theatre by improving access to services that accommodate the needs of our diverse communities. We believe theatre should be accessible for all people, with all abilities, and we are thrilled to expand our range of consistent services in Season 41.

Mobility Device Options

ADA Accessible Seating is available for all of our productions and is located at the rear of the orchestra with easy access for patrons with wheelchairs and walkers. 

The Tazewell Lounge features a Wheelchair Lift that can take patrons into the education classroom on the second floor. This allows us to hold classes, workshops, and performances for all members of our community.

Extended Size Seating

Row M, the rear row of the orchestra, has been fully renovated with larger seats for patrons who may find this amenity more comfortable and suitable for their needs.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services

Photo by Jeff Hewitt

Photo by Jeff Hewitt

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Open Captioning is a text display of words and a description of sound from the performance made visible on a screen for those who are hard-of-hearing. Open Captioning is made possible, in part, by Access Virginia.

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American Sign Language (ASL) Interpretation: The second Saturday of every performance features a minimum of two ASL Interpreters who translate the entire show in American Sign Language.  ASL Interpreting made possible, in part, by The Language Group.

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Loop Listening System We provide top of the line listening assistance either through headsets available at the box office or directly into personal hearing aids equipped with a t-coil.

ASL Interpreting made possible, in part, by The Language Group. Photo by Jeff Hewitt

ASL Interpreting made possible, in part, by The Language Group. Photo by Jeff Hewitt

Blind and Low-Vision Services

Blind and low-vision audiences can participate in a Touch Tour of the set, props, and costumes. (Photo by Jeff Hewitt)

Blind and low-vision audiences can participate in a Touch Tour of the set, props, and costumes. (Photo by Jeff Hewitt)

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Audio Description is a visual description audio track of the characters, actions, and scene changes that occur during a performance. This narration is heard through special headsets worn by individuals who are blind or have low-vision to more fully experience the production. Audio Description is made possible by Access Virginia.

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Sensory Touch Tour:  At select shows, we invite our blind and low-vision audiences to engage in a sensory tour of the set, costumes, and props.


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Large print programs are available upon request.

Sensory Sensitivity

Theater for Everyone is a performance specially designed as a theater experience for individuals with sensitivities to light and sound and is performed without complete black-outs, with lower volume levels of some sound effects and certain sensory effects that may seem intense are modified. Theatre for Everyone for A Christmas Carol is December 11, 2019.

Schedule of Accessible Performances

Guys and Dolls Saturday, September 29, 2019
3:00PM Open Captioning, Audio Description
7:30PM American Sign Language Interpreters

Detroit ‘67 Saturday, November 2, 2019
3:00PM Open Captioning, Audio Description
7:30PM American Sign Language Interpreters

A Christmas Carol Saturday, December 7, 2019
3:00PM Open Captioning, Audio Description, ASL
7:30PM American Sign Language Interpreters
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
7:30PM Theatre for Everyone

Sense & Sensibility Saturday, February 1, 2020
3:00PM Open Captioning, Audio Description
7:30PM American Sign Language Interpreters

The Legend of
Georgia McBride
Saturday, March 14, 2020
3:00PM Open Captioning, Audio Description
7:30PM American Sign Language Interpreters

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Saturday, April 18, 2020
3:00PM Open Captioning, Audio Description
7:30PM American Sign Language Intrepreters

The Hobbit Saturday, May 30, 2020
3:00PM Open Captioning, Audio Description, American Sign Language Interpreters
7:30PM American Sign Language Interpreters

How to Request Accessible Service

Patrons interested in learning more about Virginia Stage Company’s accessible services and to request accommodations may contact bostaff@vastage.org or visit the Box Office during normal working hours.