Caleb Marshall, managing artistic director at the Canadian College of Performing Arts. (Christine van Reeuwyk/Oak Bay News)

Oak Bay-based performing arts college offers ‘relaxed performance’ program

Five shows designed for those with anxiety, autism, or any disability

Theatre gets more inclusive this year in Victoria, thanks to the Oak Bay-based Canadian College of Performing Arts.

The school launches a relaxed performance program for five shows in the 2018-2019 season.

“A relaxed performance is open and available to absolutely everyone, but it is designed specifically to be welcoming and sensitive to anyone who might find the usual theatre experience challenging,” says Caleb Marshall, managing artistic director.

While Relaxed Performances are open to everyone, they are chiefly geared to theatregoers living with conditions such as anxiety, autism, fear of the dark or disabilities of any kind.

Anyone with a disability or anxiety can benefit from a theatre experience with the slight changes to the front of house experience. For example, lights don’t dim fully, potentially startling light or sound cues are softened, and audience members can meet the cast ahead to be alerted to potential emotional outbursts or other disturbances in performance.

“The number one shift is the audience is given context for what they’re about to see,” Marshall says. “It’s really designed to make theatre as accessible as possible to the entire community. I think there’s been a portion of our community that’s not always felt welcomed in a traditional theatre environment.”

Relaxed performances debut on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 2 p.m., during the run of Twelve Angry Jurors, Reginald Rose’s courtroom drama that opens the season at the CCPA Performance Hall, 1701 Elgin Rd.

“I firmly believe that theatre belongs to everyone,” said Marshall, who during his tenure as artistic executive director of Sudbury Theatre Centre first implemented the Relaxed Performances concept during its 2016-2017 season.

RELATED: Oak Bay performing arts school stages West Side Story for spring finale

RELATED: New lead for Canadian College of Performing Arts in Oak Bay

The season’s two Broadway musicals include Sweet Charity, scripted by Neil Simon, with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields, and the big season finale at the McPherson Playhouse starting April 19, the Arthur Laurents-written and Leonard Bernstein-scored classic West Side Story.

Other tidbits this year include appearing again with the Naden Band and a new partnership with the municipality of Oak Bay on a public presentation of the Remembrance Day concert.

The college is also designing a crest to reflect its new identity, now 20 years in, and welcomes stakeholder feedback on what to include.

“Over the next few months we’ll be developing our academic seal if you will,” Marshall.

Visit ccpacanada.com to submit design ideas and view the full season schedule and ticket options.


 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A 2.5-magnitude earthquake occurred beneath San Juan Island, Wash. – 25 kilometres from Sidney – late on Oct. 30. (Screenshot via United States Geological Survey)
Minor Washington earthquake felt in Sidney, Victoria

U.S. seismologists report 2.5-magnitude quake late Friday

Victoria Police Chief Del Manak called changes to the More Justice, More Peace mural “offensive” in a statement Oct. 30. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Victoria police chief calls new changes to downtown mural ‘offensive’

‘ACAB’ replaced with a note accusing the City, VicPD of silencing BIPOC

Oak Bay Police. (Black Press File Photo)
Oak Bay police still awesome, residents say

2020 community policing survey results released

Paul Nestman’s Exemplary Service Award, which will be presented to him on Oct. 27 by Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin during a virtual ceremony. (Provided by Tammy Robinson)
‘Trust your team’: Victoria man receives Exemplary Service Award from Coast Guard

Paul Nestman, along with 36 others, receive awards during virtual ceremony

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie “The Name of the Rose” at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

Oscar-winner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Allentown, Pa. on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
POLL: How closely are you following the U.S. presidential election?

It may feel like it’s been going on forever but the U.S.… Continue reading

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Police service dog Herc helped RCMP locate and arrest suspects in the Ladysmith area on Oct. 23, 2020, related to a stolen vehicle. (Submitted)
RCMP nab prolific property offender in Ladysmith with assist from police dog Herc

Police attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled from the area towards Chemainus.

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Most Read