Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Auckland Theatre Company launches accessibility programme

Auckland Theatre Company launches accessibility programme

Cast of Once on Chunuk Bair

Auckland Theatre Company is set to extend its accessibility, kicking off with a sign interpreted and audio described performance of the Maurice Shadbolt classic, Once on Chunuk Bair, on Sunday 22 June.

This is the first time the company has presented a sign interpreted and audio described performance of one of its productions. In addition, the company is offering free tickets to the performance to blind and Deaf audience members.

Jesse Hilford, Ticketing and Sales Manager, says the company appreciates that the cost of tickets can be an issue for some members of the blind and Deaf communities.

“We decided to offer free tickets to this performance to blind and Deaf people so they can come along and enjoy what is an epic story about the Gallipoli campaign,” he says.

“In return, we’re hoping the patrons will provide us with feedback about their experience so we can improve our future sign interpreted and audio described performances.”

Once on Chunuk Bair was chosen to launch Auckland Theatre Company’s Accessible Theatre Programme because of its national significance. It’s a story, Jesse says, that should be made accessible to all New Zealanders.

Before the performance, audio describers Nicola Owen and Carl Smith will provide a touch tour of the stage set, the props and costumes for blind and vision impaired patrons.

Dan Hanks will lead the sign interpreting team. There will also be a pre-show talk in New Zealand Sign Language about the story and clarification of the NZSL signs for names and locations.

The next production planned for sign interpretation and audio description is the musical Jesus Christ Superstar in November.

From the beginning, Auckland Theatre Company has worked with the Blind Foundation and the Auckland Deaf Club, and is keen to continue building connections with the blind and Deaf communities to make theatre more accessible to them.

Three years ago the company’s production of Calendar Girls at The Civic was sign interpreted in association with THE EDGE (now known as Auckland Live) and its SIGNAL programme.

Lester McGrath, General Manager, says that this introduction to audio described and signed performances encouraged Auckland Theatre Company to develop its own Accessible Theatre Programme.

“We are excited to be launching this initiative and hope that it will introduce the theatre experience to audiences that may not traditionally have chosen to attend”, Lester says.

“The feedback from patrons will be invaluable and directly contribute to what we hope will become regular signed and audio described performances in the annual calendar.”

The Auckland Theatre Company currently uses different venues for its productions. However, it will move into its new, accessible theatre on the Auckland waterfront in 2016.

The sign interpreted and audio described performance of Once on Chunuk Bair is in the Maidment Theatre starting at 4pm on Sunday 22 June. There’s a touch tour at 2pm and introductory notes for blind patrons will be available in the auditorium at 3.45pm. The sign interpreted pre-show talk starts at 3.15pm.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Review - 'I, Daniel Blake' - Ken Loach's Bleak Masterpiece

'I, Daniel Blake' is a bleak masterpiece, a chilling and moving story of two people striking up an unlikely friendship under extremely adverse circumstances. It is both a polemical indictment of a faceless benefits bureaucracy that strips claimants of their humanity by reducing them to mere numbers, and a celebration of the decency and compassion of ordinary people who look out for one another when the state has abandoned them. More>>

Howard Davis: Review - A Girl Named Mo

Moana Ete brought her three-piece band A Girl Named Mo to Wellington's intimate and iconic Bats Theatre last week for a five-night residency. Each show was recorded and filmed live for the release of her debut album 'Platonic/Romantic' on Loop records later this year. More>>

For The Birds: Who Will Be Crowned Bird Of The Year?

The competition involves well-known and enthusiastic New Zealanders acting as ‘campaign managers’ for their favourite birds with many going to great lengths to get New Zealanders to vote for their chosen bird... More>>


  • Greening the Red Zone - Bird of the year heats up: kōtare concedes, backs kea
  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter

  • Gordon Campbell: On Bob Dylan's Nobel (And The Surplus)

    So Bob Dylan has just won the Nobel Prize for… Literature? Wow. I’d be just as happy if he’d won for his work on particle physics (“One Grain of Sand”, “Simple Twist of Fate”) or got the Economics prize for his work on the theory of contracting (“Don’t Think Twice Its Alright”) ... More>>


    Scoop Review Of Books: Whose Goat Was That?

    Mysterious Mysteries of Aro Valley is a sharp, satirical and sometimes downright scary romp through and around that valley in ways that made me question the realities of the places I thought I knew so well. More>>


    NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

    Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news