Okay, forgive me gentle readers. A rant.
I support trying to get folks who are struggling with ability to see live theatre. Live theatre can entertain, engage, and inspire in a way that other forms of entertainment can’t and, instead of being a jerk, let me expand that to all forms of live performance. I wish more people understood this. I wish that entertaining folks with variable abilities wasn’t just a niche industry.
Having said that, it took my own husband suffering a brain injury for me to act on trying to find ways to develop opportunities to bring folks into theatre. Since then, I have opened my dress rehearsals to folks who have suffered brain injuries. They are a bit of a tough audience: talking through the performance, noisily wandering to the bathroom, talking straight to the performers. It does give my cast a lesson in staying focused and working through.
What kills me, though, is the horror, I can see on the faces of theatre staff. Almost the fear. Is it really that odd to have these folks in the audience? What is everyone afraid of? It’s just my husband and some of his friends. And despite the fact that there was one caregiver for every two patrons, one theatre manager insisted that she needed way more staff for these performances — which precludes me being able to invite them to come because of cost. The staff and management couldn’t get past the difference.
Well, we have to. Or, at the very least, we should. I will find a way to keep offering this experience and I am considering offering a relaxed performance for almost every run at significantly lower ticket prices. I will have to get a sponsor but I’ll do it.
There. Not rant over with. Short and sweet. Positive action will result.