Kickstart presents Canada’s first season of audio described live theatre

Vancouver, September 1, 2010

Kickstart has collaborated with five of Vancouver’s finest theatres to launch EarSighted with an ambitious schedule of live audio description for theatrical performances. Audio description brings the sets, lighting, costumes and action of a theatre performance alive for blind and visually impaired audience members. Kickstart has trained a team of professionals who provide key action and other visual information, between the actor’s lines, through a wireless transmitter to a single earpiece worn by the recipient. Description begins 15 minutes prior to curtain with an introduction to the overall production and design concept, and other programme notes.

“It’s very gratifying that both people who are blind and the local theatre venues have embraced it so enthusiastically,” said Artistic Director Geoff McMurchy about EarSighted’s first season. “Part of Kickstart’s mandate is to promote practices that will make the arts more accessible to all members of the Canadian public, and EarSighted is a great step toward fulfilling that mandate! Kickstart is excited to be the first in Canada to offer a full season of audio description!”

“The Playhouse is thrilled to be part of this inaugural season of audio description, the first of its kind in Canada,” says Max Reimer, Artistic Managing Director of the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company. “We were proud to pioneer this initiative last season during our award-winning production of The Miracle Worker, and we are committed to ensuring that our productions are accessible and enjoyable for all patrons.”

People who are blind or partially sighted can contact our partners at Vancouver Playhouse, The Arts Club, Gateway Theatre, Presentation House and Touchstone Theatre to book seats for audio described performances! From classics like Death of a Salesman and imaginative original work like Tear the Curtain to musicals like The Fantasticks and Hairspray and perennial favourites like Brighton Beach Memoirs, EarSighted’s inaugural theatre season has everything a theatre lover could ask for.