Helping the visually impaired enjoy the theatre

Surrey Arts Centre offers audio description to blind patrons.

Patrons who are blind or partially sighted can soon enjoy an enhanced theatre experience at the Surrey Arts Centre.

In partnership with Kickstart Disability Arts & Culture, the arts centre will offer VocalEye audio description for select performances in 2012.

VocalEye provides live vocal description of theatre and the performing arts. The patron uses a headset with a single earpiece and volume control that allows them to hear the show and the description simultaneously. VocalEye’s professionally trained team begins the broadcast 15 minutes before curtain with detailed descriptions of the set, characters and costumes. Once the show begins, the “describer,” speaking into a transmitter, relays the physical action and visual detail between the lines of dialogue.

To enhance their theatre experience further, VocalEye patrons can also reserve a spot on the Touch Tour. After the performance, VocalEye patrons will be escorted on stage to explore the space, and may handle selected props, costumes and furniture.

VocalEye patrons are eligible for a $25 ticket price, and can purchase tickets by phoning the Surrey Arts Centre Box Office at 604-501-5566. VocalEye equipment is limited to 20 users per show, so reserving ahead is recommended.

Detailed descriptions of the set, costumes and characters may also be available in advance on SoundCloud. Visit to learn more.

Vocal Eye will provide audio description for the following performances at the Surrey Arts Centre:

• Arts Club Theatre Company’s Don Quixote on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 4 p.m.

• Arts Club Theatre Company’s Circle Mirror Transformation on Saturday, March 3 at 4 p.m.

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