An upcoming show at the Belfry Theatre will offer a “relaxed performance” for a more diverse audience. (File contributed/ Belfry Theatre)

An upcoming show at the Belfry Theatre will offer a “relaxed performance” for a more diverse audience. (File contributed/ Belfry Theatre)

Victoria’s Belfry Theatre hosts its first ‘relaxed performance’ for a diverse audience

Performance of Every Brilliant Thing is first to pilot the option

Every Brilliant Thing at the Belfry Theatre will feature the company’s first “relaxed performance” for people who might not typically make it out to a play.

This could include people with physical or mental disabilities, people on the autism spectrum or even parents with young children who might otherwise be disruptive.

The point of this altered version of the show, said Mark Dusseault, communications director at the Belfry, is to make the theatre more accessible to everyone.

“In this show we open it up and do a number of things to try to make sure that we don’t trigger anyone, and make sure that everyone is comfortable,” Dusseault said.

ALSO READ: Oak Bay-based performing arts college offers ‘relaxed performance’ program

Alterations include leaving doors open throughout the play so people who can’t sit still for an hour can move around, keeping lights on the entire time and minimizing loud noises. Additionally, a visual story print-out will be offered before the play starts so that people on the autism spectrum have a road map for what to expect.

Every Brilliant Thing, is a United Kingdom creation written by Duncan Macmillan and Jonny Donnahoe that reviewers call “heart-wrenching and very funny.”

The one-person show stars Dawn Petton, accompanied by DJ Brain Linds. The one-act play follows the story of an unnamed girl who, as a child, knows her mother tried to commit suicide. In response, the girl begins writing a list of things worth living for, a list that grows and changes as the character grows up.

The play is interactive, and calls on some audience members to participate.

ALSO READ: A red-letter day for The Belfry Theatre

“It takes you all sorts of places. I think the wonderful thing that adds to it is that every show will be different,” Dusseault said. “We chose this show [for the relaxed performance] because we wanted to do it on a show where we could invite the most people and make sure they’re comfortable.”

As with several other shows, the Belfry will also offer interpretations by Vocal Eye for those who are blind or have visual limitations.

The show runs from Dec. 3 to 22, with the relaxed performance scheduled for Dec. 11 at 1 p.m.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit belfry.bc.ca.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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