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.
Stuff articles on Accessibility
Audience feedback for previous Access Performances
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.
Find out more about:
Where is Circa Theatre?
Circa theatre is located on 1 taranaki Street in central Wellington. We are next to Te papa on the waterfront.
You will find an interior layout for Circa Theatre below.
Is there Accessible parking?
There are five spaces for visitors with disabilities at the Te Papa carpark: two are on the left as you enter the car park and three are on the left as you continue into the covered area. The cost for parking here starts at $4/hour before 5pm, and is $2/hour with a maximum of $8 after 5pm and exiting before 2am. There are several ways to pay for parking, including at an auto-pay station or at the exit. Please visit the Te Papa website for more information about parking at Te Papa. To get to Circa from the Te Papa car park, just head towards the front entrance of Te Papa and then cross the paved area to the Circa entrance, approximately 82 steps away.
What Bus can I catch?
If you are not driving then you can catch several buses to the Courtenay Place bus stops. Check Metlink for a full bus timetable.
Is there accessible seating in the theatres? Where can I sit if I use a wheelchair?
As of January 2016 we were excited to install new seats in our Circa One Theatre. Not only does this mean our old seats have been upgraded and are more comfortable but the seating is now accessible to wheelchair users. The seats in the front row can be removed so a wheelchair can be placed there instead. This means wheelchair users can now sit next to their family and friends in utmost comfort during the show.
Wheelchair users who would like seats to be removed are recommended to advice Box Office when booking tickets so we are able to get the seats out in time for the performance.
Circa Two does not have this seating structure however the front row of seats provides the most accessible seating, as it is a flat surface from the foyer to these seats, with no inclines or stairs.
If you have any questions about seating, please contact the Box Office at 04-801-7992.
Where are the accessible toilets?
We have recently rennovated our Foyer and have a brand new bathroom block. There is one new accessible, unisex toilet in Circa. When you come through the Circa Front doors the bathroom is located directly to the left, past the nook.
Check the floor plan above for the Layout of Circa Theatre.
Does anyone speak New Zealand Sign language?
Unfortunately, none of our permanent staff speak sign language fluently but they have some basic training under their belts.
Where is the lift?
There is no lift in Circa – all patrons areas are on ground level.
Can I borrow a wheelchair?
Unfortunately, Circa does not have wheelchairs for loan.
How much notice must I give for access services?
For seating and other access requirements when attending a performance, please advise when booking your ticket. The earlier the booking is made, the more likely it is that we will be able to accommodate all requirements. As performances fill up, it becomes harder to ensure that the required seats will be available.
Please also indicate any requirements at the time of booking at Circa Theatre’s Bar and Cafe – again, the earlier the booking is made the better.
If you have any questions about accessibility at Circa, please contact the Box Office at 04 801 7992.
Do you have a hearing loop or infra-red system?
No. Circa does not have either of these systems at this time.
Can I have access to a script of the play before a performance?
Yes, this can be arranged. To request a copy of the script, please contact the Box Office at 04 801 7992 or firstname.lastname@example.org at least a week before the show.