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Florida Repertory Theatre

Lee County

Renee Pesci, Development Director

As Florida Repertory Theatre begins its 22nd season, we believe that the arts should be shared with everyone, including those with vision impairment or loss. Currently, we provide one audio description performance for each Arcade Theatre show. Thanks to the recent grant from DCA, we will be adding audio description performances for three education shows, in addition to audio description performance in our ArtStage Studio theatre this season. Audio description involves the accessibility of the visual images of theatre to people who are blind, have low vision or who are otherwise visually impaired. This narration service describes what the sighted person takes for granted – those images that a person who is blind or visually impaired formerly could only experience through the whispered asides from a sighted companion. Patrons utilize a small receiver with one earpiece, leaving the opposite ear available to hear the dialogue and action on the stage. Access for visually impaired patrons is also improved with braille programs.

Because of DCA...

we have been able to reach nearly 100,000 patrons, including over 45,000 students, each season while making a significant economic, cultural and educational impact in the Fort Myers community.
Photo of an actress surrounded by other actors onstage at Florida Repertory Theatre

Florida Rep also strives to eliminate barriers for people who are hard of hearing or deaf. For theatregoers who use American Sign Language (ASL) as their primary means of communication, we provide a team of two experienced theatre interpreters who stand to the side of the stage and translate what the actors are saying or singing into ASL in both of our theatres. Specific seats are allocated in the theatres so that the theatregoer can read the signers interpretation clearly. Currently we provide one ASL performance per each Arcade Theatre show in our season. Thanks in part to the grant from DCA, we will be adding ASL performances to our three education shows and our education teen Conservatory performances. By including these signed performances for hearing impaired audiences, Florida Rep creates a larger dialogue around what it takes to make art accessible to every audience member in our community. Providing these signed performances brings theatre to those who otherwise wouldn’t have access to the arts.