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ABVI Announces Audio Described 13-14 RBTL Shows

The Rochester Broadway Theatre League (RBTL), in partnership with ABVI, provides audio description on the first Sunday matinee of each of the Broadway musicals in their seasonal package.

Audio description makes the visual verbal. Trained audio describers narrate the necessary information to assist the individual who is blind or visually impaired to better follow the story. In preparing to do this, the audio describer reads the script, watches the performance, writes a narrative, and times the silent spaces between the dialogue. The written narrative includes physical characteristics of the performers, costumes, scenery, props and a description of certain actions that assist in following the story line. During the audio described performance, the describer inserts as much detail as possible into silent spots in the dialogue, to enhance the theatrical experience without being intrusive.

The viewer receives the information via an earpiece with a directional microphone and a personal receiver the size of a deck of cards. The earpiece rests over, but does not touch the opening of the ear. It rests on and behind the ear like glasses do. The directional microphone allows the user to hear, but does not allow the sound to travel to someone sitting next to the individual. The user can turn the receiver on or off and adjust the volume to a comfortable level. The user can reserve the receiver and earpiece by calling the RTBL Box office at (585) 222-5000.

For performances at RBTL the audio describer reads through the character description, costumes and scenery approximately ten minutes before the show starts. Then as much information as possible is given throughout the show as pauses in the dialogue allow. Abridged programs in large print and Braille are available the day of the audio described performance.

The six Broadway Musicals and the date of the matinee when they will be described is listed below:

October 8 -13 2013
Audio Described performance: Sunday 10/13 at 1:00 PM

War Horse
November 5-10 2013
Audio Described performance: Sunday 11/10 at 1:00 PM

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
December 10-15 2013
Audio Described performance: Sunday 12/15 at 1:00 PM

Sister Act
February 11 -16 2014
Audio described performance: Sunday 2/16 at 1:00 PM

March 18 – 23, 2014
Audio described performance: Sunday 3/23 at 1:00 PM

Phantom of the Opera
April 16 – 27, 2014
Audio described performance: Sunday 4/20 at 1:00 PM

For tickets call the Auditorium Theatre Box Office at (585) 222-5000 or Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. Online, information can be found at or

For more information about audio description contact ABVI's Vision Rehabilitation Department at (585) 232-1111.