Live Arts to Put On First Dementia-Friendly Play in Charlottesville
The final matinee of ‘The Book of Will’ is designed to accommodate caregivers and people living with dementia. Live Arts staff and all of the actors have been trained on how to put on a dementia-friendly performance.
The matinee will feature lower sound levels, higher light levels in the audience and increased signage for restrooms and concessions. Guests will also be able to talk and leave their seats during the performance.
With more people being diagnosed with dementia every day and the average life span in the country increasing, organizers said events like the matinee are important to ensuring everyone in the community feels included.
“I think the more we can be sensitive to the members of our community and theater is for everyone, it’s not just for the privileged or the people that are like 'oh I can come and get this'. It’s an experience everyone should have, just being in community with other people,” said Boomie Pedersen, director of ‘The Book of Will’.
"This is the beginning of Dementia Friendly performances and we're very excited about the possibilities that this holds for the future,” said Bree Luck, artistic director of Live Arts.
On Sunday, April 21 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Live Arts will host an orientation for caregivers and those with dementia to better familiarize themselves with the theater.
Staff said that the opportunity will allow guests to feel more comfortable the day of the performance.
If you would like to reserve tickets for the dementia-friendly matinee on April 28, you can contact the Live Arts Box Office. Directors will also be able to provide hard copies of ‘The Book of Will’ upon request.