Part of our mission here at Virginia Stage is to make theatre accessible to everyone in Hampton Roads. We strive to promote diversity in the arts by creating opportunities that are inclusive for both performers and audience members. Our Education and Community Engagement team is committed to the idea of inclusivity. It has been a true pleasure working alongside our teaching artists to create such rich and varied avenues for exploration of art and expression for special needs students and adults.
For the past two seasons, we have held a special “Theater for Everyone” performance of A Christmas Carol. This performance is accompanied by an active learning event prior to the show where patrons can participate in a hands-on explorations of costumes, various props, and see different effects that happen during the show. The show itself is performed without complete blackouts and with lower volume levels of some sound effects.
I have had the pleasure of being a part of the active learning portion of this event since it’s inception. If you’ve seen our rendition of A Christmas Carol, then you already know that there are some fun effects that might be surprising for someone who has sensory challenges. One of my favorite parts of the active learning event is seeing our patrons meet the Ghost of Christmas Future actor and their backpack puppet. For a lot of people being able to see the person behind the puppet makes it a lot less scary!
Last year I had the pleasure of sharing how the “big reveal” of Scrooge’s grave happens. As someone with a background in set building this portion of the event has a special place in my heart. Being able to share what we do and how we do it is something that technicians and carpenters very rarely have the opportunity to do. Of course, we can’t share everything because then there’s nothing left to keep you on the edge of your seat during the show! If you would like to see some of the magic behind A Christmas Carol, I encourage you to join us on December 14 at 7PM for the active learning event followed by the performance at 8PM.
For more details, click here.