Launched in fall 2017, Good Host is an audience accessibility and inclusion program by Calgary’s Inside Out Theatre group.
“The key part of it is we work with the theatre companies to relax all the traditional, strict theatre- going rules,” says Col Cseke, artistic director at Inside Out, a disability theatre company. The lights are kept up during performances, audience members can move around and make a little noise if they want, and the lobby has a designated quiet area for people who need to take a break.
In its first season, the Good Host program worked with more than a dozen theatre companies in Calgary to host more than 40 accessible events. These performances offer people with dementia, and many others who might not otherwise attend the theatre at all, a chance to experience a live performance in a relaxed setting.
“Sitting in the dark for two hours, being silent—we just know that’s not possible for everyone,” Cseke says. “It’s the same show, just relaxed a bit.” [ ]