Audio Description is an accessibility tool that enhances a theatre performance or other visual event for people with vision loss. Description can also be beneficial to enhance literacy and comprehension among sighted patrons.
An Audio Description volunteer describes the visual elements of a performance, display or event using succinct, colorful language. You might call it play by play for your favorite play! Describers will describe sets, costumes, action and visual jokes as they happen. This is done without talking over the actors on stage, except in VERY rare instances. We also read program notes and describe the performance facility. Describers are sometimes sent in pairs, other times solo, depending on the venue. Current relationships include Theatre Lawrence, The Lied Center and Crafton-Preyer Theatre (KU campus) in Lawrence; Starlight Theatre, Kansas City Repertory Theatre and Carlsen Center (Johnson County Community College campus) in the Kansas City area; and Topeka Civic Theatre and Academy in Topeka.
- Pass audition (this will be given after the potential volunteer goes through an information session about the process)
- Be willing to participate in ongoing training to remain active
- Have the ability to drive to and from the assigned venue in your personal vehicle
- Be able to attend at least two performances for every assigned description-- once to preview, once to describe (previews are provided at no cost to the volunteer and they are often permitted to bring a guest)
- Be willing to put some time into preparation for each description (looking up information about the show, learning correct pronunciations, etc.)
- Have the ability to lift a large suitcase of heavy equipment
- Be able to learn to set up the equipment used to broadcast the descriptions (you'll receive training)
- Have a good vocabulary and be able to think quickly
- Be available evenings and weekends
Our listeners have said:
"Thank you so much for all that you do for me! I enjoy so much all the shows at the theater, and also the movies that I see. You've opened up a whole new world to me."
"I was able to re-create my first date with my wife thanks to Audio Description."
"I never thought I'd be able to enjoy theatre again, but now I can!"
Contact us today to set up your information session and audition!
- Public Speaking
- Theater Arts
- Verbal / Written Communication
Good Match For
Requirements & Commitment
- Driver's License Needed
- Must be at least 18
- Orientation or Training
- approximately 10 hours per performance
- See job description