Accessibility

The Arden is for Everyone

Arden Theatre Company complies with all applicable federal, state and local statutes and laws to ensure accessibility to all who visit our theater.

When inquiring about Accessibility Services and Policies at the Arden, or if there is an Accessibility Service you do not see listed here, please call the box office at 215.922.1122, or email boxofficer@ardentheatre.org

Information and Services

For Patrons with Mobility Concerns & Wheelchairs

Accessible Seating

The Arden aims to seat all our patrons in locations that will make their theatre experience comfortable and enjoyable. We offer seating accommodations to patrons who use wheelchairs or have other accessibility requests, such as the need for an aisle seat, or to sit close due to concern with stairs or hearing/vision loss. Patrons who use a wheelchair can transfer to a theatre seat, or may remain in their chair and request for a seat to be removed.

You may choose your own seat when purchasing online, or can request these accommodations by calling the box office. If a performance is ever General Admission seating, please call the box office to reserve an accessible seat for that performance.

To best meet your seating needs, we encourage you to plan your Arden visit early. Please call the Box Office at 215.922.1122 or email at boxofficer@ardentheatre.org so that we can assist you with purchasing wheelchair accessible seating.

For Deaf or Hearing-Impaired Patrons

Assistive Listening Devices

The Arden offers Assistive Listening Devices (ALD’s) for every performance in all three of our theatre spaces. Our ALD devices were recently replaced in the fall of 2019, thanks to a generous grant from the McLean Contributionship.

ALD’s amplify the sound coming from onstage and eliminates unwanted ambient noise. Any patron can use this service with a device and headphones provided by Arden staff. Patrons with hearing aids that have a t-coil setting are also able to borrow an ALD along with a personal neck loop that will connect the device to your hearing aids once the t-coil setting is enabled.

Should you wish to borrow an ALD during your visit to the Arden, check in with the Box Office to request one. Please note that you will need to hand in a Photo ID to borrow a device that will be returned to you after the performance. You can also contact the Box Office in advance of your performance if you plan to borrow an ALD so that they can have a unit at the ready for you to pick up.

 

Open Captioning (OC)

Open Captioning is a text display of all of the words and sounds heard during a production. This screen is visible to all patrons during the performance. To reserve tickets for a Captioned performance, please call the box office at 215.922.1122 or email boxofficer@ardentheatre.org to ensure that your seating location will provide a suitable view of the captioning screen.

Upcoming Open Captioned Performances for our 2023-2024 Mainstage Season:

THE LEHMAN TRILOGY: Friday, March 29, 7:00 PM | Saturday, March 30, 1:00 PM
ONCE ON THIS ISLAND: Friday, June 7, 7:00 PM | Saturday, June 8, 2:00 PM

 

Smart Caption Glasses

Officially piloted in our 2023-2024 Season during Ladysitting, Smart Caption Glasses are a wearable closed captioning experience that uses a synchronized transcript of the play’s dialogue and sound effects. The Glasses are programmed to listen to the show as it is performed and display the captions in real-time, directly in the wearer’s eyes, while still being able to see the action onstage.

Upon request, patrons will receive a pair of glasses and an attached controller to tailor the viewing experience to their needs, including text brightness, color, size, position, and focus. These adjustments can be made at any time during the performance. An Arden staff member will guide patrons through how to use the device and hand them this informational pamphlet to refer to if needed once in the theater. Inquire with the Box Office when purchasing or picking up your tickets about borrowing a pair of Smart Caption Glasses.

Smart Caption Glasses are available for performances of the 2023-24 Season:

LADYSITTING: Starting Wednesday, January 31st
THE LEHMAN TRILOGYStarting Wednesday, March 20th
ONCE ON THIS ISLANDStarting Wednesday, May 29th

Smart Caption Glasses at the Arden are made possible with the generous support of the Virginia Brown Martin Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation. The Smart Caption Glasses Project was made possible in the U.S. with generous support from: The Barra Foundation, The Knight Foundation, and The National Endowment for the Arts.

 

American Sign Language (ASL) Shadow Interpretation

Shadow Interpreting using American Sign Language (ASL INT) offers live ASL by interpreters who “shadow” the actors, following their movement onstage while interpreting the dialogue.  This allows patrons who are Deaf or hard of hearing the ability to watch the actors and interpreters simultaneously.

Arden Theatre Company is proud to offer ASL Shadow Signing for our Children’s Theatre productions in partnership with Hands UP Productions.

ASL Interpreted Performances for our 2023-2024 Children’s Theatre Season:

PINOCCHIO: Friday, May 24, 10:30 AM | Saturday, May 25, 4:00 PM

For Blind or Vision-Impaired Patrons

Audio Description for patrons with vision loss is live verbal commentary of the essential visual components of a production as it unfolds, such as the style and design elements, facial expressions, and visual jokes. The description is delivered in between the dialogue of a performance and is only picked up by the audience member wearing a specific Assistive Listening Device (ALD) provided by the Arden.

Check in with the Box Office when you arrive for an Audio Described performance to borrow an ALD tuned to receive the describer’s feed. Please note that you will need to hand in a Photo ID to borrow a device that will be returned to you after the performance.

Upcoming Audio Described Performance Schedule for our 2023-2024 Mainstage Season:

THE LEHMAN TRILOGY: Friday, March 29, 7:00 PM | Saturday, March 30, 1:00 PM
ONCE ON THIS ISLAND: Friday, June 7, 7:00 PM | Saturday, June 8, 2:00 PM

 

Large Print Programs

Large Print Programs are available to borrow, typically about one week after the Opening performance of each production. Large Print Programs are for patrons with vision loss or impairment who have trouble reading the text within a standard-size program. All text has been enlarged to at least 18-point font for easier reading. Check in with the Box Office when you arrive to borrow a Large Print Program. Please note that you will need to hand in a Photo ID to borrow a program and trade back after your performance, due to a limited number of prints.

Large Print Programs are made possible by Vision Resources of Central PA.

For Patrons with Sensory Needs

Social Narratives

New experiences and new spaces might be overwhelming for some patrons. We want to be sure you’re ready to enjoy your time with us.

Prepare for your specific performance experience by reading our Social Narratives. Introduced with Charlotte’s Web in our 2022-23 Season and based on the Social Stories format, these booklets are designed to give exact step-by-step expectations of your experience at the Arden from arrival to departure. Digital versions are available on each production’s page. You can ask the Box Office about borrowing a physical copy as well.

 

Sensory Guide Video

Erin Clemens, on TikTok as @AspergerSadie, is a local author, public speaker, and autism advocate who generously created a Sensory Guide video for our patrons to showcase the various sensations one could expect when coming to our theater.

View the Arden Sensory Guide video on her TikTok.

Additional sensory guidance services are in development and are planned to be introduced in the near future.

For Patrons who Require Medical Assistance & Service Dogs

Personal Care Assistants

Paid Personal Care Assistants (PCAs), Home Health Aides (HHAs), Nursing Assistants, and other paid disability services providers who accompany patrons with needs to our theater are welcome to attend our performances with a complimentary ticket.

Patrons who plan to attend a performance with a paid professional assistant should call our Box Office at 215.922.1122 to purchase tickets and inquire about a complimentary ticket for their assistant.

 

Service Dogs

The Arden welcomes patrons with Service Dogs (and Service Dogs in Training) to attend our performances. In accordance with Pennsylvania law and the Americans with Disabilities Act, acceptable Service Dogs perform specific services or tasks to assist a person with a disability. Emotional support and comfort animals are not always qualified as Service Animals under the ADA and thus may not be permitted. Service Animals are required to be housebroken, kept on a leash at all times within the facility, and may be subject to removal in the event of disruption to the performance.

(Know your rights! In accordance with the ADA, Arden Theatre staff are only entitled to ask the handler of a Service Dog if the dog is required because of a disability, and what tasks the dog has been trained to perform. No further questions may be asked nor should be answered.)