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Schools Access at Riverside

While You're Here


Riverside Theatres is committed to providing access to quality educational arts experiences for all students and teachers. This includes students and teachers with disability and specific needs.


Access points are indicators that let you know aspects of a production that may provide groups with a higher level of engagement related to their needs. There are 5 access points.

Interactive Performance
High levels of audience interaction creating a less formal environment and requiring less ‘passive’ attention by audience members.

Language: None
No text or dialogue is used in this performance.

Language: Easy

The text or dialogue used in this production is limited or simple.

This production has a strong music focus.

Visual Cues
This production has strong visual cues giving students a different reference point for comprehension of the narrative or subject matter.


For each production we have indicated the venue within the performing arts centre that the event will take place in. This helps you to understand what the experience of the venue is like for seeing, hearing and entering the space. All the theatres use the same foyer area.

Riverside Theatre: 761 seats with 534 seats in the stalls (ground level). This is the biggest space with a high ceiling, balcony seating, red chairs and a raised stage. Shows in this venue will be the biggest and busiest. There is level seating/ wheelchair access in row P (around the middle of the stalls).

Lennox Theatre: Seats 213 people and is a large black box theatre space with a high ceiling, black floor and curtains. The seating is tiered and goes back 10 rows, with stair access to all but the first row (wheelchair access being available in the first row). The black allows different sets to become the focus of the space.

Raffertys Theatre: Seats 88 people and is a smaller version of Lennox Theatre.

Studio 404: Located at 404 Church Street, Parramatta, two blocks from Riverside, Studio 404 is equipped with 4 rehearsal rooms and 4 accessible bathrooms. Level access is available by prior arrangement.


We believe it is important to ensure all students have the opportunity to participate and enjoy going to the theatre. In 2018, specific accessible performances include Auslan Interpreted, Audio Described and Relaxed Performances. However, if you have a group requiring any of these access options for an event other than the ones we have on offer, please let us know and we will endeavour to accommodate your request.

Level access from the streets leads to our foyer and continues into all venues. Space for wheelchairs is available in all venues, but requires booking in advance.

Our theatres are equipped with a hearing augmentation system that can be accessed through modern hearing aids. Headsets and receivers are also available for patrons who do not have hearing aids or whose hearing aids don’t work with our system. Please indicate on your booking form if your group requires access to the headsets.

Audio Description provides access for patrons who are blind or have low vision. It is live verbal commentary at select moments in the performance and is relayed to audience members via a discreet receiver and earphone. The description communicates key visual information including action sequences, facial expressions, costumes and scenery.

This service is provided based on demand. If you require it for your group, please indicate this on your booking form. Due to the preparation involved, a minimum of 8 weeks’ notice is required. Our audio description service is generously provided by Vision Australia.


Held prior to a performance, these tours are arranged specifically for students and teachers who are blind or vision impaired. They give students and teachers the opportunity to tour the set, props and costumes up close and in context. Tours are by prior arrangement and are particularly relevant for productions being audio described.

Some productions are selected to be interpreted using Australian Sign Language (Auslan). This provides an opportunity for students or teachers who are Deaf to access the show. The aural cues that are essential to the storytelling and the theatrical experience are translated into sign language. Auslan interpreters are discreetly positioned for comfortable viewing by Deaf audiences.


Select performances throughout the year are provided as relaxed performances. These are sensory friendly performances where the perceived ‘rules’ of theatre are modified to allow patrons with Autism and other specific needs to enjoy the performance in a welcoming environment.

Modifications will differ depending on the show, but can include:

  • The house lights being dimmed, but not turned all the way down;
  • The understanding that patrons may come and go from the theatre as needed;
  • Elements of the show that might include loud noises or sudden bright lights being toned down or removed.


Guides for each of our venues are available for download from our website on the Accessibility page. Social stories specific to relaxed performances are available to download from the appropriate show pages on our website. Upon request, we may be able to provide services other than those listed, to help make your groups visit more comfortable. These could include arranging a meet your seat or meet and greet with the cast, to allow your group time to become familiar with their surroundings. With notification, arrangements can be made for you to be seated early or near to an exit as an additional support measure.

Download a copy of our social stories for our venues here:

Riverside Social Story

Lennox Social Story

Raffertys Social Story

Simply contact us with any request you might have and we’ll do our best to arrange it.

More information on access: Sophie Clausen, Program Coordinator – Access or 02 8839 3368.

Download a copy of our Schools Access information here: Access at Riverside

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