U P D A T E !
Formerly a program of Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture, VocalEye has now spun off as a new non-profit, VocalEye Descriptive Arts Society, that is dedicated to arts accessibility for those with vision loss.
You can check out their website at www.vocaleye.ca
The following remains as archival information:
Live Audio Description Season 2011-12
Sunday Oct 2 at 2 PM Next to Normal, Arts Club Stanley Stage
Friday Oct 21 at 8 PM Tosca Cafe, Vancouver Playhouse Theatre
Sunday Nov 13 at 2 PM The Penelopiad, Arts Club Stanley Stage
Sunday Nov 27 at 8 PM Penny Plain, The Cultch Historic Theatre
Friday Dec 9 at 8 PM La Cage aux Folles, Vancouver Playhouse Theatre
Tuesday Dec 20 at 1 PM White Christmas, Arts Club Stanley Stage
Friday Jan 27 at 8 PM Red, Vancouver Playhouse Theatre
Saturday Jan 28 at 4 PM Don Quixote, Surrey Arts Centre
Sunday Feb 19 at 2 PM Calendar Girls, Arts Club Stanley Stage
Friday Mar 2 at 8 PM Hunchback, Vancouver Playhouse Theatre
Saturday Mar 3 at 4 PM Circle Mirror Transformation, Surrey Arts Centre
Sunday Apr 8 at 2 PM The Importance of Being Earnest, Arts Club Stanley Stage
Friday Apr 27 at 8PM God of Carnage, Vancouver Playhouse Theatre
Sunday Jun 3 at 2 PM High Society, Arts Club Stanley Stage
Sunday Aug 5 at 2 PM Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Arts Club Stanley Stage
Please contact the theatres directly to arrange your tickets. Be sure to mention VocalEye live Audio Description to reserve your equipment.
About Live Audio Description
Kickstart’s live audio description program is the first of its kind in Canada. Our professionally trained team provides vivid vocal description of live theatre and the performing arts to blind and low vision audiences in the Lower Mainland.
Each patron is given a personal receiver with a single earpiece and volume control that allows him or her to hear both the show and our live audio description at the same time. The broadcast begins 15 minutes before curtain with detailed descriptions of the set, characters and costumes. Once the show begins, the describer transmits pertinent physical action and visual detail between the lines of dialogue. Brief program notes are provided at intermission.
NEW this season: Advance Audio Previews! Check out SoundCloud to browse VocalEye’s audio recordings. Meet the audio describers, listen to reviews, plot synopses and background info for upcoming shows. Where possible, we will also record detailed descriptions of the set, costumes and characters in advance on SoundCloud, in addition to providing them live in the theatre before curtain. Be sure to join our mailing list (firstname.lastname@example.org) and follow us on Facebook for the latest links and updates!
Here is a video clip of our team in action, from November 2010, courtesy of TACtv:
Kickstart’s Live Audio Description program debuted on Oct 27, 2009 when our newly trained team described “The Miracle Worker” at the Vancouver Playhouse. We were then invited to participate in the 2010 Vancouver Cultural Olympics, describing Robert LePage’s “Blue Dragon”, Realwheels’ “Spine” and a selection of alternative performance at “Hive3″. In September 2010, we launched the first full season of live Audio Described theatre in Canada (under the name EarSighted), partnering once again with the Vancouver Playhouse and 4 other theatres, describing 15 productions in Metro Vancouver, Richmond and North Vancouver.
And here’s what some of our patrons have to say:
I was extremely impressed with the live AD. Not only was the service beneficial for me as a blind patron, but was also beneficial for my sighted companion. Without the AD, my companion would be trying to provide the description. This is distracting to him, since he is not able to fully focus on and enjoy the play himself, but it can also be annoying to other patrons sitting nearby. In addition, my companion would never be able to provide as much detail about the set design, costumes and physical attributes of the actors. Most importantly, the AD allows me the independence and choice to attend a live theatre production without having to rely on a sighted companion.
I could not believe how much I was missing as a person who is visually impaired. It was excellent. The people doing this narration did a great job. This service is such a wonderful idea. It was non invasive to other people around us and the equipment was very easy to use.
The Audio support made the play for me. I didn’t miss a thing and I think we had more information than the general public… Thanks for the enjoyment.
VocalEye audio description makes it much easier to follow the story along with everyone else. Without this service, a blind person often ends up playing detective…. and though it’s usually possible to walk away with a good sense of what happened during the play, the detective work and puzzle solving end up significantly taking away from the experience… I will gladly and frequently pay for an experience that is comparable to everyone else’s, and VocalEye allows me to drop the detective work and enjoy the play just like everyone else.
I would like to strongly recommend the services of VocalEye audio descriptive services. Bringing the pleasures of theatre to the visually impaired is a noble calling indeed. The staff embodies courteous service and cooperation and are a true pleasure to work with.
-Michael Kidder, Head of Sound at the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre
We’d like to thank our theatre partners for their trailblazing commitment to arts accessibility and for a season of outstanding productions:
- The Vancouver Playhouse (The Fantasticks, Brief Encounter, This, Death of a Salesman and The Trespassers)
- The Arts Club Theatre (Tear the Curtain!, The 39 Steps, White Christmas, August: Osage County, The Philanderer and Hairspray)
- The Richmond Gateway Theatre (Brighton Beach Memoirs and Great Expectations)
- Touchstone Theatre at the Firehall Arts Centre (Mimi)
- Presentation House (Damien)
Special thanks also go to our funding sponsors (Canadian Heritage and the City of Vancouver), our patrons and our friends for their invaluable support.
To join our mailing list or for further information on Audio Description, please contact:
Steph Kirkland, Program Director
Phone: (604) 364-5949
VocalEye Live Audio Description Service is provided with assistance from: