Accessibility & Inclusion

A Note Regarding The Perpetual Racism in America

After spending last summer in Minneapolis and having to postpone our return to this summer’s Fringe, we want to send our love and support to all protesting in that beautiful state – and beyond. Black Lives Matter. As an arts organization with increasing capital and multiple avenues of community engagement, we will continue to work on and toward a consistent practice of anti-racism in all that we do. If you would like to speak to BKBX about these efforts, or offer feedback, email Becky at brokenboxmime@gmail.com. In the meantime, here are some places you can vote with your money.

BKBX Accessibility and Inclusion Statement

We believe diversity enriches our artwork and collective humanity. We are committed to creating artistic work and cultivating spaces that are welcoming and accessible to people with

  • Differences in identity including race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, and religious affiliation
  • Differences in ability including mobility, sensory, and neurodiversity
  • Differences in background and lived experience including family structure, first language, nationality, citizenship status, and mental health identity

We acknowledge that every person who enters our space does so with a unique lived experience, and distinct physical, sensory, and neurological orientation. We encourage every individual to experience our work in a way that feels authentic to them, and we aim to provide resources to ensure equal access, always. We are committed to learning and improving our access resources – we see this endeavor as an ongoing process in dialogue with our community.

As artists who are principally invested in exploring and promoting empathy, we seek to learn from those whose experiences differ from ours. Please reach out to us if you’d like to share your experience in accessing our work, or suggest an idea for how to enhance our access and inclusion initiatives. Send us an email at brokenboxmime@gmail.com to start the conversation!

BKBX Accessibility and Inclusion Initiatives

Relaxed Performances

What is a Relaxed Performance?

A Relaxed Performance (RP) is a designated performance in which the artists and audience agree to relax traditional theater etiquette regarding sound and movement in the house, as well as offer slight technical modifications to make the work more accessible to those with sensory differences. Technical modifications might include leaving the house lights on as a glow, and adjusting sound volume slightly to prevent surprising or possibly uncomfortable sound experiences. Sudden or extreme changes in light or sound such as flashes or bangs might be reduced in a relaxed performance. Additionally, a printable document with images and information about the theater’s layout and the show’s features is provided so that audience members can prepare for their experience.

Some people describe a relaxed performance as “the opposite of the train’s quiet car.” Sounds and movements in the house are acceptable, whether involuntary or not. Being yourself is welcome. Whether you’re a parent with a nursing baby or a person with a neurodiverse identity, you are invited to enjoy the show however suits you best.

BKBX’s Relaxed Performances

BKBX regularly includes RPs in its production schedule. We performed our first RP in 2017 during our mainstage production SEE REVERSE. Since then, we have included RPs in our family show, DESTINATION: EVERYWHERE, and in our 2019 mainstage, SKIN. We have also toured DESTINATION: EVERYWHERE throughout NYC, including at a Transitional school in Brooklyn where we performed for a wide range of neurodiverse students.

Because our medium doesn’t rely on spoken language, we find Relaxed Performances in which audience members feel free to respond to our work verbally or with sound in the house especially rewarding. We delight in the challenge of adapting our work to best suit audience needs and provide a meaningful and inclusive experience for audience and artists, alike.

Interpretation, Captioning, and Audio Description

Because we stage narratives without spoken language, we are especially interested in sharing our work with the d/Deaf community. We consider our mainstage shows accessible to d/Deaf audience members who read English, as the only language in our shows are written title cards. We now provide ASL interpretation at events including our Out Loud Series and the 8th Annual Black & White Ball: Sky’s the Limit! Click here to view a video of Becky’s speech, with ASL interpretation by Brandon Kazen-Maddox. Support for American Sign Language interpretation for the Black & White Ball provided in part through funding from Access A.R.T./New York, a program of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York).

In 2019 we partnered with the Minnesota Family Fringe Festival to offer accessible performances of our family show, DESTINATION: EVERYWHERE. Accessibility resources included ASL interpretation, Open Captioning, and Audio Description.

As part of our spring 2020 programming, we are posting videos Youtube, including launching our BKBKids! Youtube channel. All videos that include spoken English are either open or closed captioned. We are also producing wordless kids’ videos, which are appropriate for people on the autism spectrum, non-verbal, and those with sensory needs. Support for audio transcription and video captioning on this production provided in part through funding from Access A.R.T./New York, a program of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York).

Mobility

Our main stage shows are presented in theaters that are wheelchair accessible, and when we hold workshops, meetings, or other events we aim to utilize ADA compliant spaces and provide robust accessibility information to guests. We begin our workshops with an invitation to all participants to access the physical games and exercises we offer in a way that feels authentic to their unique body, on that day; and communicate their needs with us if we can do anything to enhance their ability to access the work.

Touring

Our medium is uniquely accessible to audiences with language differences, and we aim to bring shows to communities in which languages other than English are prevalent, within our home city of New York, in other US American locations, and internationally.