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Cochlear Implants, hearing loss and more! I carry an interesting perspective: someone who had normal hearing growing up, lost it all slowly as an adult, then regained it with cochlear implants. So I'm deaf, but I can hear - a true miracle. If you'd like to know more about me and my bilateral cochlear implant experiences right away, my two books have a wealth of information - see the links below. Check out the list of upcoming events too - perhaps one day we'll get to meet!


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Shakespeare Captioned (All's Well that Ends Well)

Shakespeare - with captions.  That's just the way Shakespeare should be experienced -  seeing and savoring every word.  It seems that only people with hearing loss get to do this, however.  A little poetic justice, I guess.

We just saw "All's Well that End's Well" last week at the outdoor Delacorte Theater in Central Park, as part of the Shakespeare in the Park series of the Public Theater - a summer tradition.  The Theatre Development Fund's Theatre Access Program arranges the captioning, done by C2 Caption Coalition, including the distribution of tickets, ordered online (free of charge, so they "sell out" fast!)  The captioning LED screen is set up above the entrance staircase, providing good sight lines from a section of the open-air theater.  Speakers are strung above the audience, providing good sound coverage as well.

The setting is idyllic (unless it's raining or unbearably hot!)  And for last week's performance, the surroundings were perfect.  The captioned performances bring out a crowd of "regulars" with a varied assortment of hearing loss and equipment: some hearing aids, some cochlear implants (bilateral and singles) - senior citizens, sign language users - all there to soak up the Shakespearean experience with one HUGE advantage: we don't miss a single word!  One almost feels sorry for the hearing mortals. 

It makes one wonder why captioning isn't provided routinely for all audiences. "What fools these mortals be!"  (Opera companies do supertitles, even for English language operas.)  For now, it's the best kept secret.  For those of us with hearing loss, captioning ensures that no matter what the Shakespearean production, all's well that ends well.

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