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HADESTOWN and Jujamcyn Apologize Following Incident Involving Hard of Hearing Audience Member

HADESTOWN and Jujamcyn Apologize Following Incident Involving Hard of Hearing Audience Member

The statement of apology says, "We are reviewing our policies and internal protocols to ensure this doesn't happen again."

Hadestown and Jujamcyn have released a statement of apology after an incident involving a hard of hearing audience member.

Samantha Coleman, who describes herself as Deafblind, was in the audience of a performance of Hadestown, when she was called out for using a captioning device, which was mistaken for a recording device.

The most common on Broadway is the GalaPro system, whose app uses an audience member's phone while dimming the screen to minimize light but from the stage could be mistaken as someone using their phone, or recording.

However, Coleman clarified in a follow up that she was not using her phone and it was a captioning device provided by the theater.

Coleman shared on Instagram:

"I was sitting in the front row of Hadestown tonight and Lillias White not once but twice, at least, reprimanded me from the stage because she thought my captioning device was a recording device. I'm sure she wasnt the only person on the stage that might have thought that." Coleman shared.

"For Lillias, because I don't think this is inherently her malice, I think it's a misunderstanding, but we still need to talk about it. There is a systemic issue in the theatre community and the theatre industry specifically with Broadway about accessibility and inclusion, and some of that has been changed by the creation of technology like captioning devices so that people can be able to experience a show that may not have been able to before."

"My hearing is such that I need captioning devices for when I see a show, and to kind of be ostracized and publicly ridiculed really hurts. It was super embarrassing. The people who need to use these devices should feel comfortable and confident in seeing a Broadway show and not be met with shame and embarrassment and anxiety."

Read the statement from Hadestown and Jujamycn below:

"Hadestown and Jujamcyn have a commitment to accessibility in all forms. The incident yesterday is a reminder that this is an ongoing process needing constant revisiting and renewal. Providing access is also about educating everyone in the theater about how we can be more supportive. We are reviewing our policies and internal protocols to ensure this doesn't happen again."

"We extend our deepest apologies to Samantha and extend our gratitude to her for sharing her experience so that it can be addressed. The production connected directly with Samantha earlier today to convey their apologies and thank her directly for bringing this to their attention."

The production also shared on social media they reached out to Samantha privately to "apologize and remedy the situation."

Watch Samantha's video in full below:


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