Captions, similar to television subtitles give people who are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing access to live performances. The actors’ words appear on an LED caption unit (or units), placed next to the stage or in the set, at the same time as they are spoken or sung.
Unlike opera surtitles for hearing people, the captions give additional information that is helpful to deaf and hard of hearing audiences, such as indicating speaker names, sound effects and offstage noises. A qualified captioner prepares the captions in advance so that they mirror the rhythm and flow of the actors’ delivery, then cues them ‘live’ as the action unfolds on stage.
Timing of the captions is crucial so as not to pre-empt the actors, especially if the text involves a key punchline or joke. It is vital that the captions do not lag behind the actors because the ability of many people to hear the actors is lost.
Captioning is about developing new audiences, bringing former audiences back to the theatre and providing a more enjoyable experience for current audience members, whether they have a hearing impairment or not.
Please tell the box office staff when booking that you would like to sit in a seat for this service.