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Synesthesia: Accessible Theater and Art in DC in November 2013 by Yvonne French

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DC is now considered the second biggest theater town in the United States, after New York. It also has one of the biggest deaf communities, which means there is a lot of culture: deaf culture!

What follows are several shows that will be sign interpreted or captioned for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Captioned means that the words are projected on a screen as the actors say their lines. Even if you do not happen to be deaf, this can be a great tool for catching all the words of an opera.

Scroll down for audio-described shows, which are for people who are blind or have low vision. Also, there is a free reading program for audio books narrated by actors. Check it out to see if you are eligible.

Next, you will find two shows that are voice interpreted, or translated from American Sign Language into English speech. I encourage everyone to check out this powerful form of theater.

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For a sense of it please read my review of Broken Spokes: http://www.dcmetrotheaterarts.com/2013/10/19/broken-spokes-at-gallaudet-university-theatre-by-yvonne-french/.

Finally, there is an opportunity to go on an accessible museum tour in New York City, with descriptions in American Sign Language and a chance to feel the displays.

Sign-Interpreted or Captioned Performances

SisterAct

 Sister Act
at The Kennedy Center Opera House
Captioned: Friday, November 1, 2013 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, November 10, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Sign-Interpreted: Friday, November 8, 2013 at 7:30 PM
Interpreters: Adam Bartley, Pam Collins, and Megan Johnson
Director of Artistic Sign Language (DASL): Tabitha Jacques

In this crowd-pleasing musical based on the hit film, a wannabe diva witnesses a crime and hides out in a convent. Under Mother Superior’s watchful eye, she helps her fellow sisters find their voices, not to mention her own.

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The Laramie Project
at Ford’s Theatre, in Washington, DC
Captioned: Saturday, October 26, 2013, at 2 p.m.
Captioned by c2, Inc.

The Laramie Project presents a deeply complex portrait of a community’s response to the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man living in Laramie, Wyoming. The play portrays the seismic and deeply personal impact Matthew’s death had on this small town while also demonstrating the power of the human spirit to triumph over bigotry and violence. Fifteen years later, Matthew Shepard’s story still reverberates, urging us on with its clarion call to confront the destructive power of hate, in all forms.

Seats for a captioned or sign-interpreted performance can be purchased through Ticketmaster at http://www.ticketmaster.com/The-Laramie-Project-At-Fords-Theatre-tickets/artist/1869763, via phone at (800) 982-2787, or in person at the Box Office.

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Love in Afghanistan
 at Arena Stage in The Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle
Captioned: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 7:30 PM and Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 8:00 PM

by resident playwright Charles Randolph-Wright
Directed by Lucie Tiberghien

From resident playwright Charles Randolph-Wright (Blue, Cuttin’ Up) comes a daring world premiere drama set to take audiences on a thrilling, romantic adventure in a chaotic land. Meet Duke and Roya, two fantastically different people discovering love in the most unlikely of places: war-torn Afghanistan. One, an emerging hip-hop artist, the other, a high-level Afghan interpreter, both fight to navigate the pitfalls of romance, religious differences and political unrest.

Go to http://tickets.arenastage.org/single/psDetail.aspx?psn=15907, call the sales office at V. 202-488-3300, TTY. 202-484-0247 or e-mail access@arenastage.org for more information.

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The Graduate
L.A. Theatre Works
at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, in Fairfax, VA 
Sign-Interpreted: Friday, Nov. 1, 2013 at 8 p.m.

America’s premier radio theater company presents the groundbreaking satire-comedy and American classic, The Graduate, about a young man wandering aimlessly through his post-collegiate life, who embarks on an affair with an older woman.

Please call (703) 993-8881 to ensure optimal seating location for viewing the interpreters.

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dance of the holy ghosts
at CENTERSTAGE, in Baltimore, MD
Captioned: Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 7:30 PM

By Marcus Gardley

Oscar Clifton is a blues man living through his memories of the past, until his estranged grandson Marcus pays a visit. Together, they confront a history of loves, regrets, and missed opportunities. This acclaimed play by Marcus Gardley is a poetic family drama set in the key of blues—a memory-scape skipping seamlessly across the decades.

Call the box office at 410-332-0033, or visit the website at https://tix.centerstage.org

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Here to There
at Imagination Stage, in Bethesda, MD
ASL Interpreted: November 9, 2013 at 11:15 am

Two friends build bridges from cardboard boxes and use rhythm and vocal play to create a catchy tune. It’s like jumping inside the world of a child’s imagination! Performances are followed by a “free play” session, allowing the audience to explore some of the props! Ages 2-5

Order tickets to this performance herer at https://tickets.imaginationstage.org/public/show_events_list.asp, or call the box office at (301) 280-1660.

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Art Signs Gallery Talks in ASL
Smithsonian American Art Museum-8th Street & G Street, NW, in Washington, DC.
Sign-Interpreted: Thursdays – November 14th at 5:30 PM
Sundays – November 24th at 1:00 PM

Curious about American art? Interested in expressing your thoughts and raising questions about a painting or sculpture? Join us for a 30-minute gallery conversation about artworks presented by specially trained volunteer ASL Gallery Guides. Art Signs will be held twice a month on Thursdays and Sundays.

Free, no tickets required

For more information, contact wilsoncl@si.edu or visit http://www.AmericanArt.si.edu.

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The Argument
at Theater J
Captioned: Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Sophie, a charming, vibrant artist, and Phillip, a loyal, solid businessman, are a 40-something couple whose new relationship is rocked when Sophie learns she is pregnant. As each fights for the only future he or she can imagine, they are both forced to recognize the profound personal differences between them. And when the word “abortion” is introduced into the debate, all bets are off.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://www.boxofficetickets.com/bot/wa/event?id=225735

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Romeo and Juliet
at Folger Theatre, in Washington, DC.
Captioned: Sunday, November 17, 2013 at 2 pm

The perfect poetry of Shakespeare’s tragedy reveals the heart-breaking loss of “star-crossed” love. Helen Hayes Award-winning director Aaron Posner leads an outstanding ensemble into the heart of this powerful, provocative play.

Tickets can be purchased here: http://www.folger.edu/wosummary.cfm?woid=828 or by calling the Box Office at (202) 544-7077.

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Café Variations
SITI Company at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts,
in Fairfax, VA 
Sign-Interpreted: Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 at 8 p.m.

Incorporating theater, music and dance, Café Variations explores longing, passion, love and romance through a collection of related vignettes set within the social arena of a café. Performed by the award-winning SITI Company, this new piece is based on the works of playwright Charles Mee and features Gershwin classics from the Great American Songbook.

Please call (703) 993-8881 to ensure optimal seating location for viewing the interpreters.

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 Tappin Through Life
at Arena Stage’s Kreeger Theater
Captioned: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 7:30 pm
by Maurice Hines
directed by Jeff Calhoun

Broadway legend Maurice Hines teams up again with the unforgettable Manzari Brothers for the first time since the smash hit production of Sophisticated Ladies to tap us through his incredible 40 years in show business. With song and dance, Hines pays tribute to his brother, Gregory, and the singers who have inspired him, from Frank Sinatra to Lena Horne. To help bring the history of American tap to life, Hines brings The Diva Orchestra, an all-female nine-piece big band. Get ready to laugh, smile and tap your feet to the infectious song and dance of Maurice Hines!

Go to  http://tickets.arenastage.org/single/psDetail.aspx?psn=15892, or call the sales office at V. 202-488-3300, TTY. 202-484-0247 or e-mail access@arenastage.org for more information.

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If/Then
at The National Theatre, in Washington, DC
Sign-Interpreted: Saturday, November 30, 2013 at 2 pm

Idina Menzel stars in the Broadway-bound original musical, If/Then, which reunites Tom Kitt (music), Brian Yorkey (book and lyrics), and Michael Greif (director), the creative team behind the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical Next to Normal.  On the verge of turning 40, Elizabeth (Menzel) moves back to New York City, the ultimate city of possibility, intent on a fresh start – new home, new friends, and hopes for a resurgent career. But even in her carefully planned new life, the smallest decision or most random occurrence will impact her world in ways she never dreamt possible.

Tickets are available online at http://secure.etix.com/ticket/online/eventSearch.jsp?event_id=608451&cobrand=nationaltheaterdc&partner_id=240, by phone at (800) 514-3849, or in person at the National Theatre box office. For more information, call (202) 628-6161.

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A Commedia Christmas Carol
at Faction of Fools Theatre Company
Performing in the Elstad Auditorium at Gallaudet University

ASL Interpreted: Friday, November 29, 2013 at 8:00pm; Saturday December 7 at 8:00pm; Sunday December 8 at 2:00pm; and Saturday December 21 at 2:00pm

Open Captioning available all performances Nov 29 – Dec 22. Friday & Saturday evenings at 8pm, and Saturday & Sunday matinees at 2pm

Masks, acrobatics, humbug, and holiday cheer abound in this modern retelling of the Dickens holiday classic, written and directed by two-time Helen Hayes Award nominee Matthew R. Wilson. When Pantalone Scrooge is visited by his old friend Dottore Marley, an unforgettable adventure of ghosts, yuletides, and omens sets the greedy old man on the rocky road to redemption. Dickens’s London comes alive in a new way with a Commedia twist and a fresh new script. A Commedia Christmas Carol is a treat for the whole family and a hilarious, heart-felt celebration of the holiday season.
To purchase tickets, visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/431347
For more information on the event, visit http://www.factionoffools.org/ccc

If you have questions about access or ticketing, please contact us at tix@factionoffools.org

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 Art Signs Gallery Talks in ASL

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Smithsonian American Art Museum – 8th & G Streets, NW.
Sign-Interpreted: Thursdays – November 14 at 5:30 PM
Sundays – November 24 at 1:00 PM

Curious about American art? Interested in expressing your thoughts and raising questions about a painting or sculpture? Join us for a 30-minute gallery conversation about artworks presented by specially trained volunteer ASL Gallery Guides. Art Signs will be held twice a month on Thursdays and Sundays.

Free. No tickets required

For more information, contact wilsoncl@si.edu or visit http://www.AmericanArt.si.edu

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Audio-Described Performances

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 WNO: The Force of Destiny
at The Kennedy Center’s Opera House
Audio-Described: Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 7:30 PM and Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Audio Describers: Carolina Carter, Andrea Okwesa, or Mike Cohen

Thrust together by fate, three lives become intertwined on a path to ruin. WNO Artistic Director Francesca Zambello brings her inventive staging to this new production of Verdi’s demanding masterpiece, featuring an exciting cast of international singers.

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SisterAct

Sister Act
The Kennedy Center Opera House
Audio-Described: Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 1:30 PM and Sunday, November 10, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Audio Describers: Ermyn King or Renee McKinney

In this crowd-pleasing musical based on the hit film, a wannabe diva witnesses a crime and hides out in a convent. Under Mother Superior’s watchful eye, she helps her fellow sisters find their voices, not to mention her own.

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CS_DC-Metro-Theater-Arts_dance-ad-200x200-pixels_10.14.13-1

dance of the holy ghosts
Center Stage Theatre, in Baltimore, MD
Audio-Described: Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 2 PM and 7:30 PM

By Marcus Gardley

Oscar Clifton is a blues man living through his memories of the past, until his estranged grandson Marcus pays a visit. Together, they confront a history of loves, regrets, and missed opportunities. This acclaimed play by Marcus Gardley is a poetic family drama set in the key of blues—a memory-scape skipping seamlessly across the decades.

Call the box office at 410-332-0033, or purchase them here: https://tix.centerstage.org/Online/default.asp?doWork::WScontent::loadArticle=Load&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::article_id=A5D636FD-F0D0-4907-ABEE-B4CD80CA255B

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Love in Afghanistan
at Arena Stage at The Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle
Audio-Described: Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 2:00 pm
Audio Describer: Dennis McCoy; Program Notes by Richard Collins (The Metropolitan Washington Ear, Inc.)

by resident playwright Charles Randolph-Wright
Directed by Lucie Tiberghien

From resident playwright Charles Randolph-Wright (Blue, Cuttin’ Up) comes a daring world premiere drama set to take audiences on a thrilling, romantic adventure in a chaotic land. Meet Duke and Roya, two fantastically different people discovering love in the most unlikely of places: war-torn Afghanistan. One, an emerging hip-hop artist, the other, a high-level Afghan interpreter, both fight to navigate the pitfalls of romance, religious differences and political unrest.

Go to http://tickets.arenastage.org/single/psDetail.aspx?psn=15907, call the sales office at V. 202-488-3300, TTY. 202-484-0247, or e-mail access@arenastage.org for more information.

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if then 200x200

If/Then
at The National Theatre, in Washington, DC
Audio-Described: Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 2:00pm
Audio Describer: Dennis McCoy; Program Notes: Marianne Metz (The Metropolitan Washington Ear, Inc.)

Idina Menzel stars in the Broadway-bound original musical, If/Then, which reunites Tom Kitt (music), Brian Yorkey (book and lyrics), and Michael Greif (director), the creative team behind the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical Next to Normal. On the verge of turning 40, Elizabeth (Menzel) moves back to New York City, the ultimate city of possibility, intent on a fresh start – new home, new friends, and hopes for a resurgent career. But even in her carefully planned new life, the smallest decision or most random occurrence will impact her world in ways she never dreamt possible.

Tickets are available online at  http://secure.etix.com/ticket/online/eventSearch.jsp?event_id=608451&cobrand=nationaltheaterdc&partner_id=240, by phone at (800) 514-3849, or in person at the National Theatre box office.  For more information, call (202) 628-6161.

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Voice Interpreted Performances

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 Broken Spokes
written and directed by Willy Conley
The Gilbert C. Eastman Studio Theatre, located in Elstad Annex on the campus of Gallaudet University, in Washington, DC.

Voice interpreted: October 24-26, 2013 at 8:00 pm; October 26, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Mario Hernandez, Sign-Mime Consultant; Susan Lynskey, Voice Director

Appropriate for patrons 10 years old and up (children who are 5 years old or younger will not be permitted in the theatre).

Broken Spokes is perhaps the first gritty, realistic Deaf drama – written by a Deaf playwright – veering away from the sweet, helpless, sexless view that the public generally has of deaf people.  This powerful, haunting, and heartbreaking play revolves around two Deaf brothers and a fiancée trapped in the spokes of a family cycle after a catastrophic accident.  The story unveils visually through multiple points of view using American Sign Language, Sign-Mime/Visual Vernacular (a dying form of ASL storytelling), and spoken English.

Phone: (202) 651-5500 / (202) 651-5502 TTY

Email: theatre.tickets@gallaudet.edu
Website:  http://www.gallaudettheatre.com
Buy Tickets:  http://gallaudet.ticketleap.com 

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Lysistrata
by Aristophanes, adapted and directed by Ethan Sinnott
Elstad Auditorium on the campus of Gallaudet University
Voice interpreted: October 31-November 2, 2013 at 8:00 pm
and  November 2-3, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Dr. Lindsey Snyder, Voice Director

Appropriate for patrons 16 years old and up (children who are 5 years old or younger will not be permitted in the theatre).

This classic 411 BC comedy by the wily Aristophanes spotlights the women of ancient Greece who have become annoyed with an endless, pointless, and ridiculous war being fought by their husbands and lovers. Drastic times require drastic measures. They decide to barricade themselves in the Athenian treasury and renounce sex until their men finally cease hostilities and make peace. Short version: NO MORE SEX UNTIL NO MORE WAR. It’s a ballsy, cheeky idea converted by the heroine into a plan she engineers to perfection, and as a result, the play has many happy endings. The pithy moral of this tale: love is indeed a battlefield.

Phone: (202) 651-5500 / (202) 651-5502 TTY
Email: theatre.tickets@gallaudet.edu
Website:  http://www.gallaudettheatre.com
Buy Tickets:  http://gallaudet.ticketleap.com

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Accessible museum tours in New York City

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The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City offers accessible tours that incorporate both verbal description and the opportunity to touch objects in the museum’s collection. Science Sense tours at the AMNH are free with museum admission and take place about once each month. Upcoming tour topics include Something Old, Something New, an exploration of new and old members of the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms, on November 13; and Human Origins on December 14. Advance registration is required. For more information e-mail accessibility@amnh.org, or call (212) 313-7565.

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Acknowledgements:

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Special thanks to The Kennedy Center for pulling most of this information together. You can check back here, or if you would like to subscribe to e-mail alerts from The Kennedy Center, send an e-mail with the subject line “Subscribe to Sign-Interpreted-Theater Alerts,” or “Subscribe to Audio-Described-Theater Alerts.” Put your name, your e-mail address and your mailing address in the body and send it to access@kennedy-center.org.

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