Delaware Public Media

DTC launches 'relaxed performances' to be more accessible

Apr 20, 2017

The Delaware Theatre Company is launching a new initiative to make theater more inclusive for people with a wide range of sensory, learning and communication differences.

DTC Managing Director Melissa Zimmerman said these 'relaxed performances' are a way to strip theater of a lot of social norms that many people might not see as barriers.

"It's an accessible performance for people who live in the world a little differently than the majority of the population," Zimmerman said.

Think less jarring and booming sounds, lights that stay on for easy access to the exits and staff trained to gently help people to their seats if they wander off.

"We are trying to be as much of a resource and as accessible to our community as possible."

Through a grant, the DTC was able to hire a consultant who specializes in relaxed performances and even set up a comfortable lounge for those who may just need a break during a play.

The company launches its relaxed performance of Hetty Feather on May 7, with more relaxed performances possible next season.