Fox 5 News @ 5: School of Rock  – Accessible Performances for Students

Fox 5 News @ 5: School of Rock – Accessible Performances for Students

(You’re watching Fox 5 News at 5) Some Broadway stars were happy to share
the spotlight during today’s matinee. Sharon Crowley introduces us to a group
that is making Broadway more accessible for people with disabilities. ♪ (singing rock music) ♪ CROWLEY: Broadway actor Jonathan Wagner
belts it out, singing the lead role of Dewey during a matinee performance of the musical
“School of Rock” at the Winter Garden Theatre. ♪ (singing rock music) ♪ Also performing the role of Dewey at the same
time, sign language interpreter Keith Wann. Wann works with the nonprofit group
the Theatre Development Fund, or TDF. WANN: My parents are deaf, and so I
learnedsign language through them, and them being an older generation, they
weren’t able to go to events like this, so for me it’s awesome to see young
deaf children able to have access to this and it’s a blessing to be able to
be an interpreter providing that access. CROWLEY: The Theatre Development
Fund’s Accessibility Program gave tickets to about 150 children who are deaf
or hearing-impaired from this area, so they too, could experience Broadway. In addition to providing sign
language interpreters during the show, TDF’s accessibility program installed an electronic closed
captioning sign just off center stage. People know about Broadway
shows, they talk about them, they see billboards about them,
and children with hearing loss can feel left out of that
experience if they haven’t had exposure. And that’s why these
Wednesday matinees are so important. CROWLEY: And this
Wednesday, the matinee delivered. Kids like Maria and Herbert,
who are hearing impaired, got a chance to experience Broadway
just like everybody else. CROWLEY: What did
you think of the show? It was amazing.
I know many people enjoyed it. I think the show is good, and
I like how they were like singing, and also like dancing too crazy… And there’s a brand-new Broadway
website called Theatre Access NYC, and it allows people with
physical or developmental disabilities to find out about
upcoming Broadway performances. Sharon Crowley, Fox 5 News.

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