Thursday, March 5, 2015

Can YOU taste the sunrise?

Wheelock Family Theatre (WFT) creates intergenerational and multicultural productions that provide a shared experience for the whole family.  We are devoted to the ideal of complete access. Our play selection, casting policy, affordable ticket prices, education programs, and access provisions for people with disabilities reflect an unwavering commitment to inclusive, community-based theatre. We believe theatre is a crucial element of human experience.  It is both a means of self-revelation and a basis for empathy with others; it inspires both individualism and responsibility through the giving and the receiving of human experience.  

WFT is one of the only theatres in America where you’ll find—in the same audience—toddlers, teen-agers, parents, and grandparents of different races, faiths, orientations, and cultures from both inner-city and suburban neighborhoods; people in wheelchairs; blind people with guide dogs; patrons who are Deaf; people who are both blind and deaf; families from homeless shelters; children and adults living with HIV/AIDS .  Many members of a typical WFT audience are attending theatre for the first time in their lives.  Over half a million people have enjoyed professional theatre at WFT since we opened in 1981.  No one has ever been turned away for lack of money.

Since our inception, WFT has interpreted every production in American Sign Language. WFT was the first theatre in New England to audio-describe productions and the first in Boston to open caption all performances.  WFT was instrumental in introducing these services and new technologies to other professional theatres in Boston. Our access efforts have been hailed by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Bay State Council of the Blind, and the Massachusetts State Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Access is not limited to our audiences—actors who are blind, deaf, and physically disabled have been given unprecedented performance opportunities on our stage.

WFT was one of the few theatres in America to offer a theatre education program for deaf teen-agers, receiving the Coming Up Taller Award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.  From 1992 to1998, PAH! Deaf Youth Theatre provided creative and social learning opportunities for deaf teens.  In 2001 WFT produced “My Hands Remember”, an award-winning production about a Deaf holocaust survivor.  In 2003, WFT worked with The Learning Center for Deaf Children and the Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing on The Island Project, a multi-disciplinary program involving students, teachers, artists and theater professionals and developed the play, “A Nice Place to Live”, by Adrian Blue and Catherine Rush, about the history of Martha’s Vineyard and the manual language used by the population that was instrumental in the creation of ASL.  In 2004 WFT produced “Hey Sista, Welcome Home” by Aisha Knight Shaw, a deaf theatre artist.  In 2006 WFT produced Lisa Thorson’s “JazzArtSigns”, a production promoting universal access through music and painting.

And now in 2015, Wheelock Family Theatre is producing The Taste of Sunrise.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Wheelock Family Theatre always hopes to engage in a lively dialogue. All voices make up our varied and colorful family and free speech is a cherished right. While critical analysis is welcome, and indeed, anticipated; discriminatory or hateful language will not be tolerated.