OPEN CAPTIONS

You can enjoy Porchlight Music Theatre's mainstage shows with open captioning--a service provided for people with hearing disabilities who use assistive listening devices, hearing aids, cochlear implants, sign language and lip reading.  For our 2017/2018 Season, these performances typically take place on the fourth Saturday of the run at both the 4pm and 8pm shows. This option can be beneficial to anyone with any level of hearing loss.

Open captioning is a text display of words and sounds heard during an event. The display is positioned in such a way that it is open for anyone, but is best viewed from a particular seating area. It is considered passive assistance, a service that is there to use or ignore. No one is labeled as needing the captioning, and no special equipment is required at his/her seat.

For more information or to reserve seats with a clear view of the captions, please contact Dana Mroczek at dana@porchlightmusictheatre.org or at 773-777-9884 during business hours.


OPEN CAPTION FAQs

Open Captioning is a text display of all of the words and sounds heard during a production—very similar to closed captioning on your TV. Whether you just miss a single word or you have hearing loss too severe to benefit from the use of assistive listening devices, open captioning can keep you from missing out.

What is Open Captioning?

Open Captioning displays the spoken word, sound effects, and any other audio portion of the production in text form. Captions appear on the captioning display in real-time synchronized to the action by an experienced captioner. Captioning display screens may be located onstage or anywhere above, below, or beside the stage depending on the specific theatre and the design and staging of the show.

Open Captioning is a type of “universal access” because it is available to anyone regardless of whether they have hearing loss or not. In fact, audiences without any hearing loss often find Open Captioning very helpful. You may miss a word when text is spoken or sung from off-stage, due to a strong accent or dialect, or if English is not your first language. In any case, Open Captioning offers a way for you to not miss a sound.

 

How does Open Captioning work and what does it look like?

You can see examples of Open Captioning in several other venues in the photo at the top of this page. An LED captioning screen displays the the spoken word, sound effects, and any other audio portion of the production in text form. Captions appear on the display in real-time synchronized to the action by an experienced captioner. The location of the screen may change with each production depending upon set size, blocking and other artistic considerations.

 

Who can use Open Captioning?

Everyone!  While Open Captioning may be the only viable way for some patrons with severe hearing loss to enjoy the text of a play, even those with no hearing loss often find Open Captioning very helpful. You may miss a word when text is spoken or sung from off-stage, due to a strong accent or dialect, or if English is not your first language. In any case, Open Captioning offers a way for you to not miss a sound.

 

Will other patrons be disturbed by the captioning screen?

We try to position the captioning screen in each of our theatres just outside the “stage picture”.  For those not using the service, the screen can easily be “tuned out” while those who need to read the captions can easily watch both the captions and the action on stage.  Other theatres have found that patrons who can see the screen but did not plan to use Open Captioning often report finding it very useful.

 

Due to the various configurations of our theatres and the design of individual productions, not all seats can necessarily see the captioning screen.  For those not appropriately seated to see the text, the caption screen simply looks like a black box and blends into the background.

What are the dates and times of performances with Open Captioning?

2016/2017 Season
Marry Me a Little - Saturday, May 13

2017/2018 Season
Billy Elliot - Saturday, October 28
Merrily We Roll Along - Saturday, February 17
Memphis - Saturday, May 12

How can I buy tickets for Open Captioning?

Due to the various configurations of our theatres and the design of individual productions, not all seats can necessarily see the captioning screen. To reserve seats with a clear view of the captions, please contact Dana Mroczek at dana@porchlightmusictheatre.org or at 773-777-9884 during business hours.

Open Captioning is scheduled for the fourth Saturday matinee and evening shows for each of our mainstage productions. For each production, special seating is reserved to provide the best sight line for those wishing to use this service. These reserved seats are only available through the Porchlight Music Theatre Office. Just mention that you are interested in Open Captioning

Does a ticket for Open Captioning cost extra?

No. Tickets to sit in the Open Captioning section are the same price as all other seats.

Do I need a special ticket for Open Captioning?

You don’t need a special ticket, but you do need to tell the Box Office when you order your tickets that you wish to use Open Captioning so that they seat you in a place for good viewing of the screen.

Will I have to use a device or special equipment?

No equipment is required, just a seat in the Open Captioning viewing area. Check with the Porchlight Office (773-777-9884) to verify that you are in the viewing area. 

Do I need to arrive early for Open Captioning?

Early arrival is not required, although we do recommend that all patrons arrive AT LEAST 20 minutes before the performance to allow time to park, get to the theatre, and find your seat.

Why is the PMT using Open Captioning?

We want as many people as possible to have the best possible experience at our performances and events. Open Captioning makes the theatre possible for a whole new audience and increases the accessibility for our existing audience.  

I have more questions.  Can I talk with someone about Open Captioning?

We’d love to talk with you more! Just call the Office at 773-777-9884 or send an email to dana@porchlightmusictheatre.org