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

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

West Shore RCMP responded to 164 calls for service over the last weekend, including numerous violent assaults. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore RCMP responds to 164 calls for service over weekend

Calls included numerous bear spray assaults and domestic violence incidents

Victoria police are looking for a 38-year-old man after he allegedly assaulted and choked a missing 15-year-old victim in Beacon Hill Park Tuesday night. (Black Press Media file photo)
15-year-old choked in Beacon Hill tent, Victoria police assaulted while intervening

Police searching for 38-year-old suspect, two officers injured in altercation with park residents

This map shows the pharmacies in Greater Victoria offering the AstraZeneca vaccine for people born in 1981 and earlier. As the map shows, no pharmacies on the Saanich Peninsula are offering the vaccine. (B.C. Government map)
No pharmacies on Saanich Peninsula offering AstraZeneca vaccine

People born in 1981 and earlier eligible for AstraZeneca vaccines

Janitors at Uptown Shopping Centre voted to strike April 20, citing increased risk from the pandemic, minimum wage pay and no paid sick days. (Black Press Media file photo)
Janitors at Uptown Shopping Centre in Saanich vote to strike

Workers say they’re working in high-risk conditions with near minimum wage pay

Some Saanich firefighters have expressed concerns about first responders in the Island Health Region not being prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as an outbreak at a fire station would make service delivery a challenge. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich firefighters not prioritized for COVID-19 vaccine despite working on frontlines

Saanich members express frustration, department calls on Island Health to take action

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Police road checks are coming for people travelling between regions while COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. clarifies COVID-19 travel restrictions, Lower Mainland a single zone

Vehicle checks on highways, at ferry terminals to start Friday

Canadian driver Paul Tracy pulls out of the pits during the morning session at the Molson Indy in Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, July 26, 2003 (CP/Richard Lam)
Vancouver is considering hosting a Formula E race using electric cars

The race would be part of a three-day event focused on climate and sustainability

Chart from the April 20 B.C. budget shows sharp dip in real estate sales early in the COVID-19 pandemic and the even steeper climb since late 2020. (B.C. government)
Hot B.C. housing market drives property transfer tax gains

B.C. budget boosts tobacco, sweet drinks, carbon taxes

President Joe Biden holds a virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
U.S. to help Canada with more COVID-19 vaccine supply, Biden says

The U.S. has already provided Canada with about 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

B.C.’s 2021 budget is trending in the right direction to support farmers, says the BC Fruit Growers’ Association. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
BC Fruit Growers’ Association gives thumbs up to provincial budget

BCFGA general manager said budgetary investments put farming industry on a good trajectory for recovery

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson leaves the assembly with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Paid sick leave for ‘hard-hit’ workers left out of provincial budget: BCGEU

‘For recovery to be equitable it requires supports for workers, not just business,’ says union president Laird Cronk

Most Read