Caleb Marshall, managing artistic director at the Canadian College of Performing Arts. (Christine van Reeuwyk/Oak Bay News)

Oak Bay-based performing arts college offers ‘relaxed performance’ program

Five shows designed for those with anxiety, autism, or any disability

Theatre gets more inclusive this year in Victoria, thanks to the Oak Bay-based Canadian College of Performing Arts.

The school launches a relaxed performance program for five shows in the 2018-2019 season.

“A relaxed performance is open and available to absolutely everyone, but it is designed specifically to be welcoming and sensitive to anyone who might find the usual theatre experience challenging,” says Caleb Marshall, managing artistic director.

While Relaxed Performances are open to everyone, they are chiefly geared to theatregoers living with conditions such as anxiety, autism, fear of the dark or disabilities of any kind.

Anyone with a disability or anxiety can benefit from a theatre experience with the slight changes to the front of house experience. For example, lights don’t dim fully, potentially startling light or sound cues are softened, and audience members can meet the cast ahead to be alerted to potential emotional outbursts or other disturbances in performance.

“The number one shift is the audience is given context for what they’re about to see,” Marshall says. “It’s really designed to make theatre as accessible as possible to the entire community. I think there’s been a portion of our community that’s not always felt welcomed in a traditional theatre environment.”

Relaxed performances debut on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 2 p.m., during the run of Twelve Angry Jurors, Reginald Rose’s courtroom drama that opens the season at the CCPA Performance Hall, 1701 Elgin Rd.

“I firmly believe that theatre belongs to everyone,” said Marshall, who during his tenure as artistic executive director of Sudbury Theatre Centre first implemented the Relaxed Performances concept during its 2016-2017 season.

RELATED: Oak Bay performing arts school stages West Side Story for spring finale

RELATED: New lead for Canadian College of Performing Arts in Oak Bay

The season’s two Broadway musicals include Sweet Charity, scripted by Neil Simon, with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields, and the big season finale at the McPherson Playhouse starting April 19, the Arthur Laurents-written and Leonard Bernstein-scored classic West Side Story.

Other tidbits this year include appearing again with the Naden Band and a new partnership with the municipality of Oak Bay on a public presentation of the Remembrance Day concert.

The college is also designing a crest to reflect its new identity, now 20 years in, and welcomes stakeholder feedback on what to include.

“Over the next few months we’ll be developing our academic seal if you will,” Marshall.

Visit ccpacanada.com to submit design ideas and view the full season schedule and ticket options.


 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Two to hospital after University of Victoria sailing mishap

Wind gusts capsize boat of recreational club sailors

Oak Bay High students help to send children with cancer to Camp Good Times

Bottle drive is part of the Cops for Cancer, Tour de Rock campaign

Volunteers gather in Metchosin for B.C.’s 1st ever search and rescue joint training

Around 200 volunteers came out for the three-day training program

Victoria’s deaf community advocates for different sign languages to be recognized on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

Transport Canada announces funds for pollutant clean up in Victoria Park, removal of abandoned boats

Contaminants at Laurel Point Park will be removed starting at the end of September

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

‘I’m no quitter’ on climate change issues, McKenna says at G7 ministers meeting

David Suzuki says if McKenna believes what she’s saying, she too should quit

Most Read