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

Friends, family remember Dan Sealey, stepson of Minister of Agriculture, in private gathering

Lana Popham confirmed Sealey died of an accidental drug overdose earlier this month at age 23

PHOTOS: Uptown lights up the holiday season

Annual event drew crowd of all ages for parade and Christmas tree lighting

New figures show City of Victoria spent $30,000 to remove Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Man arrested in Colwood sentenced for trafficking fentanyl

The man was arrested in February and has been sentenced to three years imprisonment

West Shore youth looking to give back this Christmas

Chase Doucette will hand out bags of warm apparel to the homeless

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact political environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Most Read