Elmwood Playhouse Receives Funding For Open Captioning From Orange & Rockland

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Elmwood Playhouse is proud to announce that it has been awarded $4,500 for its new open-captioning program by the Orange & Rockland Community Partnership Program. Open captioning is a live display of the actors’ words, which appear as scrolling text located on a screen near or on the stage. While closed captions are pre-programmed, open captions deliver the dialogue and sound in real time.

We are grateful to Orange and Rockland for their support of this pilot open-captioning program…

Lisa Spielman
Elmwood Community Playhouse

Elmwood premiered a trial of open captioning during a performance of The Lifespan of a Fact in February after it was suggested by Jonathan Taylor, President of the NYC chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America and Elmwood member Darren Carfano.   Following the performance, the numerous positive responses and calls for the program to continue through Elmwood’s 2023 season confirmed the tremendous success of the new system. There have been few, if any, opportunities for theatre lovers who have hearing loss to experience live performances in our county. Now, with the financial support of Orange and Rockland, Elmwood will provide an open-captioned performance for each production remaining in its 2023 season–beginning with Pride and Prejudice, which will present its open-captioned performance on Thursday, March 30 at 8 pm. Open-captioned performance dates for The Shape of Things and A Sherlock Holmes Showcase will be announced soon.

“Part of Elmwood’s mission is to create theatre that reflects the diverse voices of our community, and we are continually looking for ways to eliminate barriers and expand outreach to groups that have been underserved in the past. We are grateful to Orange and Rockland for their support of this pilot open-captioning program, which increases access to live, local theatre for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community,” said Lisa Spielman, Elmwood Board President.

According to the 2022 census, about 3.5% of the population has significant hearing loss. That number is reflected in our local population, with the NYS Department of Health statistics indicating that approximately 3% of Rockland County residents report partial or total hearing loss.

“Orange & Rockland is proud to support nonprofit organizations across our service territory in New York and New Jersey. Our partnerships strengthen neighborhoods, sustain communities, and improve lives. These philanthropic efforts support the arts, environment, and important educational initiatives in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” said Lisa Culhane, Orange & Rockland Utilities, Inc., Strategic Partnerships.

In 2020, O&R awarded $630,000 to over 250 schools and nonprofits working in the NY and NJ service areas. O&R prides itself in giving to groups that provide the local community with affordable, high-quality artistic and cultural experiences.

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