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Circa has developed an accessibility programme with support from Arts Access Aotearoa over the last four years. We also have formed a collaborative relationship with Te Papa in which we aid each other with access projects while continuing to support and grow our audiences. We will continue to work with both Arts Access Aotearoa and Te Papa to ensure that the programme we are offering is appropriate and of interest to patrons.
Our work in this area has been recognized by the sector with nominations for two New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) in Action awards in 2014 – the NZSL Accessible Service Award and the NZSL in Media Award. Circa was also Highly Commended in the Arts Access Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award at last year’s awards for our accessibility programme.
Circa has become a leader in theatre Access and we are regularly approached by other Theatre companies/festivals for our expertise to aid with their accessibility projects. Some companies and festivals including Capital E, Taki Rua Productions, Court Theatre Christchurch and Auckland Arts Festival.
We offer a range of different accessible performances to suit audience members with different needs and requirements.
Still Life with Chickens – Audio Described Performance 2018
Jen Mitchell (parent of a visual impaired child)
I wanted to let you know how grateful we are for such a successful experience at Circa on Sunday. Our daughter Saskia was part of the touch tour and audio described performance of Still Life with Chickens. The skill and time taken to provide this access in such an interesting and informative way has resulted in Saskia asking when she can go to the next play, coming home and making chickens out of pipe cleaners, and telling anyone who would listen to her all about the play with the confidence of a film reviewer at Cannes. Thanks again to everyone at Circa who made this possible, and if you ever need animals made from pipe cleaners for props, you know who to call.
Robyn Hunt (Visual Impaired patron)
The touch tour enriches my enjoyment, and I miss less of the performance. I enjoy smaller theatres like both at Circa because I can see more, especially the good seats we had. I appreciate the generosity of the cast and others in giving us their time. Can’t think of any improvements, other than more of the performances! The audience is growing too, which is great.
Puss in Boots – Audio Described Performance 2018
Carolyn Drew (Manager BLENNZ School Wellington)
The families who attended the event had a wonderful experience and there was lots of chatter about it after the event. I was speaking with one parent just this week who said that the touch experience beforehand really helped his son engage. It also helped that the family live in Karori and there was lots of talk of that suburb. Only one student ended up using the audio description, but his mother was very enthusiastic about the two provisions available for her son.
Rants in the Dark – New Zealand Sign Language Interpreted Performance 2019
Kerry Lotz (Deaf Patron)
Superb…Wonderful to see Interpreters in these shows, feel part of show. Keep it up!
Kellye Bensley (Deaf Patron)
I loved it – Really well done and Thank you for providing access.