SRO Theatre Company Presents THE CRUCIBLE with Audio Description Using Cell Phones

SRO Theatre Company Presents THE CRUCIBLE with Audio Description Using Cell Phones

SRO Theatre Company is proud to present Arthur Miller's classic drama The Crucible with live audio description using cell phones for the Saturday, October 14th performance at 8 p.m. in the Columbus Performing Arts Center located at 549 Franklin Avenue in Columbus.

"I'm excited that we are able to find a way to provide live audio description for people who are blind or visually impaired," says Executive Director Charles Pennington. "We're always looking to expand our audience, and when we first received the request to provide audio description by a patron, I knew it was something we should try to make happen. I also wanted to see if we could find a new way of providing the service using cell phone technology."

Rather than use an FM transmitter and a portable battery-powered device with earbuds, the plan is for patrons interested in hearing the audio description to dial into a conference call phone number and use their own cell phones and headphones. Patrons can then disconnect or rejoin the audio description conference call at any time, and it is anticipated that the sound quality will be much improved using this process as well. Additional cell phones and headphones for those without a cell phone or a call plan with unlimited weekend minutes will be made available at the theatre with a reservation, and trained attendants will be on hand to assist patrons with getting set up to enjoy the performance with this added accessibility feature.

"All of the people I have contacted about using mobile devices for the audio description already have a cell phone and free weekend minutes in their possession to use," says Pennington. "We have engaged Jane Ehrenfeld, who has many audio describing credits to her name, to create and perform the narration for our performance so that our blind or visually impaired patrons will be able to experience the performance and not miss out on the visual elements as they will be described in between the dialogue by Ms. Ehrenfeld."

The Crucible is a dramatized and partially fictionalized story of the Salem witch trials that took place in the Massachusetts Bay Colony during 1692/93. Miller wrote the play as an allegory for McCarthyism, when the United States government ostracized people for being communists. The story focuses upon a young farmer, his wife, and a young servant-girl who maliciously causes the wife's arrest for witchcraft. The farmer brings the girl to court to admit the lie-and it is here that the monstrous course of bigotry and deceit is terrifyingly depicted. The farmer, instead of saving his wife, finds himself also accused of witchcraft and ultimately condemned with a host of others.

Only the Saturday, October 14th 8 p.m. evening performance of The Crucible will have live audio description available. Patrons are encouraged to call SRO Theatre Company at (614) 427-3324 or e-mail ahead of the October 14th performance date to make arrangements to attend. "We're looking to help break down the barriers that may normally prevent people who may be blind or visually impaired from attending live theatre," Pennington said. "They can bring an escort who can drive them to and from the theatre for free with the purchase of their ticket when discount code AUDIO is used. We hope that the support of the community can make this the first of many audio described performances for SRO Theatre Company using cell phones. To my knowledge, we may be the first theatre company to use cell phones for audio description to reach a wide audience in Columbus."

Plans to offer an ASL (American Sign Language) interpreted performance for the Deaf were not able to be secured for this production, but Pennington plans to offer that accessibility feature in the future as well. "With our continued success in revitalizing SRO Theatre Company (at various times formerly known as Standing Room Only, Senior Repertory of Ohio, and Grandparents Living Theatre), we aim to offer ASL-interpreted performances once we are able to do so financially. I'm certain that there is an audience out there to attend these performances provided we can use the appropriate channels to reach them. Traditional posters, social media posts, and videos aren't enough to reach the communities that would benefit from these accessibility features, and so that is one of our challenges with this first production."

The Crucible, directed by SRO Theatre Artistic Director Kristofer Green, will play the Columbus Performing Arts Center's Shedd Theatre beginning with a preview performance on Thursday, October 12, 2017. The Tony Award winning play officially opens Friday, October 13 and will run through Sunday, October 22, 2017. Adult tickets are $23 with seniors and students at $20. Groups of 10 or more are $15 each. Discount code AUDIO can be used only for the Saturday, October 14th 8 p.m. audio described performance for people who are blind or visually impaired to bring an escort. Patrons interested in receiving audio description are advised to arrive between 7:00 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. for assistance in accessing the audio description. Program notes with details on the costumes, sets and scenery will begin at 7:30 p.m. and repeat as time allows until the performance commences. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. and is estimated to run for three hours including a 15-minute intermission.

The Crucible features a talented local cast that includes James Harper ? (John Proctor), Amanda Phillips ?(Elizabeth Proctor), Melissa Hall ? (Abigail Williams), Dawn Farrell (Rebecca Nurse) Brandon Maldonado (Rev. Samuel Parris), William Macke ?(Rev. John Hale), Eli Brickey ?(Mary Warren), Justin King ?(Deputy Governor Danforth) and Aileen? ?Targett? ? (Mercy Lewis).

Tickets to the October 14th audio described performance may be purchased through Vendini at

For more information on SRO Theatre Company, visit or call (614) 427-3324

A promotional video prepared to advertise the audio described performance of The Crucible is available here:

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