Colo. Theater Company Makes Its Shows More Accessible To People With Disabilities

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<p>(Courtesy&nbsp;Michael Ensminger)</p>
<p>Stewart Caswell, David Wright and Jeremy Palmer in Phamaly Theatre Company&#039;s 2015 production of “The Fantasticks.”</p>
Photo: Phamaly Theatre Company Taking Leave rehearsal
Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, and representatives from Colorado Creative Industries, Alzheimer's Association Colorado Chapter and the Autism Society of Colorado visited Phamaly Theatre Company during a rehearsal of "Taking Leave" in March 2016.

Accessibility for performers with disabilities is at the core of Englewood-based Phamaly Theatre Company. Every one of its professional theater productions has a cast comprised entirely of individuals with a range of disabilities.

Now, Phamaly wants to make its performances equally accessible to audiences with disabilities. That requires some real changes in how the organization puts on a show. Its latest production, "Taking Leave," is a part of this effort. The play is about a professor "taking leave" of reality as Alzheimer's begins to set in. Phamaly has partnered with the Alzheimer's Association Colorado Chapter for the show.

Artistic director Bryce Alexander spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner about sensory-friendly performances and the first-ever Sensory-Friendly Summit, which Phamaly co-hosted with the Lone Tree Arts Center last June.