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Tyler Civic Theatre introduces new program to help visually impaired

KETK
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POSTED: Thursday, February 13, 2014 - 7:38pm

UPDATED: Thursday, February 13, 2014 - 7:53pm

The Tyler Civic Theatre has a new program that helps the visually impaired enjoy plays. This program uses special headphones to provide more than just music. Instead, they use vivid descriptions to explain to audience members exactly what is happening on stage during live performances.

KETK spoke with the former President on the Civic Theatre's Board of Directors, John Anderson, who said, "For anyone with a sight impairment, this will be a wonderful addition to them, and bring real, live, good theatre, to them right here in Tyler, Texas".  The goal of the program is to include additional members of the community, and widen the potential audience for each performance. The program officially begins in March, with the melodrama "Drunkards". Anderson said, "The headphones kind of fulfill a need that I guess we've known has existed, but we didn't know how to fix it. So we're really excited".

Each earpiece has an actor from the audio booth narrating the play with a special script. The narrator gives descriptions about the way a character walks, any facial expressions, or even clothing details. Rodd Wayne, the volunteer voice actor, said, "They are able to enjoy the show and let their mind do the rest. You don't have to see it to enjoy it. Let the theatre of the mind run wild in your head". So grab your family and friends, it's time for a night at the theatre.

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