Making Theater Accessible on Both Sides of the Curtain

Accessibility

The SpongeBob Musical, 2023. Arrow down for more description.

At the podium, a mixed race neurodivergent disabled woman with sleek black hair pulled back wearing a red and purple shirt as the Mayor towers over Perch Perkins, a tall white male in a rainbow suit who holds a microphone out towards Patrick Star, a Deaf petite blond in a squat sign pose with her voice actor smiling sheepishly behind her open-armed while the colorful confused cast of Spongebob reacts.

Accessibility & Special Performances

We put Deaf/Disability led access at the forefront in everything we do on stage and off for our patrons, actors and volunteers and have been modeling, teaching and fostering this work in the community and beyond for over 25 years. If you have any input or feedback on our procedures, reach out to our ADA coordinator Sam Gould by email: Sam@OpenDoorTheater.org and review our ADA Compliance Grievance Procedure [Google doc].

Accessible Seating

Accessible and complimentary companion seating available. We have marked best visibility for ASL seating and Caption screen. We have bariatric friendly seating upon request and booster seats for loan at the theater.

We proudly participate in the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Card to Culture Program and offer discounted tickets to WIC/EBT/ConnectorCare Card holders. 

Please contact our ticket team at 978-264-8150 or email Tickets@Opendoortheater.org with specific questions, codes or for more information.

American Sign Language (ASL)

All performances of Open Door Theater shows are ASL interpreted. We are pleased to hire a Director of Artistic Sign Language, DASL (Deaf Artist/Professional Expert)  for our productions. We provide an ASL Vlog and ASL character guide pre-show and online. We educate our cast and crew teaching ASL and Deaf Culture and offer quarterly ASL classes for cultural exchange of our community. We often have Deaf and Hard of Hearing Actors on stage.

Assistive Listening Devices

A variety of assisted listening devices are available for all performances, including; over the ear headsets, earbuds, and telecoil enabled loop induction system. Patrons may also bring their own mono headsets. Please ask for a headset at ticketing.

Audio Description (AD)

We AD broadcast our pre-show open for all patrons prior to the AD shows and post it on our website in advance so you can enjoy it prior to and after the show. To hear the AD throughout the show, please ask for an AD headset at ticketing. (We also offer tactile tours pre-show, just ask in advance and come early!)

Animals

Assistance dogs in vests are always allowed and welcome. Pets and support animals are not permitted as they can interfere with the important job performed by the trained and licensed assistance dogs.

During the 2022 SpongeBob performance, one of our actors on stage used an assistance dog, named Quimby, who is hypoallergenic.

The SpongeBob Musical, 2023. Arrow down for more description.

Multi racial, multi aged, Diverse, Deaf, Disabled and non-disabled cast of SpongeBob sing from their hearts in front of a night sky cartoon projection. Photo Credit Jeff Heimbach.

Allergies

Refreshments will be sold before the show and during intermission. We have bariatric and allergy friendly snacks. Allergen warning: please do not bring any peanut products or citrus due to life-threatening allergies among our community members.

Captioning

All performances are open captioned by projection on the proscenium walls for the benefit of all audience members. We have a live caption operator in house and proudly use software created by AccessTech.com, which we have our design team illustrate to match the show design in storybook format.

Family Bathrooms

Family bathrooms are available during performances.

Sensory Friendly Environments

All shows are relaxed format and built to be sensory friendly. Everyone is welcome. We will have a pre-show introduction of characters and a chill out area with a live feed of the performance on a flat screen monitor in the lobby. For social stories and character guide, please check back after the Wizard of Oz is cast.

Current Covid Precautions

Masking is not required but encouraged and welcome. Our cast is fully vaccinated.

Web Accessibility Statement

Last updated: Oct 1, 2023 

We put access at the forefront in everything we do on stage and off to provide an integrated and inclusive environment for all cast and crew Our ADA Coordinator is Sam Gould and she can be reached at Sam@OpenDoorTheater.org.

We put access at the forefront providing arts access consulting and training that centers anti-ableist (external website) and anti-racist disability (external website) culture to arts institutions, customizing access plans, equitably and sustainably to measurably implement sustainable change in the sector overall. 

Through our partnership with knowbility.org (external website), Accessibility Internet Rally 2023, and the A11yConductor Team, Open Door has committed to digital accessibility for people with disabilities. We continue to make changes to improve the user experience for everyone and apply the relevant accessibility standards.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (external website) (WCAG) defines requirements for designers and developers to improve accessibility for people with disabilities. It defines three levels of conformance: Level A, Level AA, and Level AAA. Wherever possible, Open Door will aim to adhere to level AA of the WCAG 2.1 guidelines, which states that sites should be:

  • Perceivable – Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.
  • Operable – User interface components and navigation must be operable.
  • Understandable – Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.
  • Robust – Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.

In order to ensure accessibility we also:

  • Have disability centered internal policies that take accessibility into account.
  • Build all of our programs with universal design at the forefront.
  • Provide our staff, volunteers and community with continual accessibility training.
  • Provide audience, actor and volunteer accommodations for all of our programming and publicize those offerings on our Know Before You Go page, PR and socials. 
  • Maintain the highest access standards and improve our access with stakeholder feedback on an ongoing basis.
  • Have a designated ADA Coordinator and written grievance policy.

Technologies relied upon

  • HTML
  • WAI-ARIA
  • CSS
  • JavaScript

We welcome your feedback on the accessibility of the Open Door Theater website. If you have experienced any accessibility barriers while using any part of the site, please let us know:

Phone: 774-257-5254

Our Grievance Policy can be found here with additional information, contacts, procedures and timelines ADA Compliance Grievance Procedure [Google doc](external website).