GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids Civic Theatre is working to make its performances more accessible for its audiences.

Its new season starts on Aug. 5 with “School of Rock.” This season will include expanded accessible programming, it said in a Wednesday release.

The Grand Rapids Civic Theatre will be offering audio described performances, with live commentary to help people who are visually impaired. Audience members can take part in a touch tour of the set, props and costumes beforehand.

It will also be offering performances with American Sign Language interpretation.

The theatre will also expand on its low sensory nights — performances with lower volume, adjusted lights and limited seating. Prior to the performance, audience members can learn about the show.

This season there will also be relaxed environment performances. Audience members at those shows can make noise, leave and return from their seat as they need to and leave to use the restroom.

On Thursdays before opening night, performances will be ‘pay what you can.’

Jesse Burke, the Civic Theatre audience experience manager, helped develop the accessibility plan.

“We’re a community theatre, and that means we need to continue to work toward serving the needs of everyone in our community,” Burke said in the release. “We want to eliminate barriers, whether economic considerations, mobility needs, visual challenges, support for a better audio experience, or anything in between. Theatre is for everyone.”

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