by Margie Donovan
Allow me to tell you about my passion and advocacy skills.
When I moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Sacramento area, I was stunned to find no audio description in live theaters. I enjoyed live theater with audio description for years in the Bay Area. I began my mission to establish audio description in the Sacramento area. First with the California Musical Theater. They run the Broadway Series and Music Circus. After many meetings, I refused to work with anyone other than the director, Richard Lewis. I was tired of the runaround. About one year later, CMT implemented audio description at Music Circus and the Broadway Series.
This was not enough. In my town of Folsom, there was a brand-new theater called the Harris Center. I was off and running on my next AD mission. My initial appointment took place, and a year later no description yet. I spoke with the ADA coordinator at Los Rios Community College District. The Harris Center is located on the campus of Folsom Lake College. In less than a year, we had description at all events. You only need to make your request 14 days prior to a show. I always make my request upon purchasing the tickets.
This was not enough for me. B Street Theater was next. While this is a small theater, I still wanted description. A few phone calls later, next thing I knew is that they had one of their staff members in an audio description training, hosted by Joel Snyder. Within months, B Street Theater began offering description for one show out of each performance. This year they are offering description twice per show.
Now off and running, I decided to make my first attempt to get audio description at an arena built for the Sacramento Kings. Many concerts and shows of all kinds are offered at the Golden 1 Arena. After a year and finally talking legal action, they just informed me that they are offering description upon request. Again, all one needs to do is to make the request 14 days prior to the event.
We are very fortunate that we have wonderful describers from CMT who are willing to describe at any of these venues. For them, this is like a second career. Eleven years and now we have audio description at six venues. What am I to do next? I think I will begin with museums in the Sacramento area. I am a lover of audio description.