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About Our Access & Disability Programs


09 September 2016

Opened in 1988, Riverside Theatres is Western Sydney’s premier performing arts centre. With 1,000 events a year Riverside offers a diverse range of live experiences you can’t have at home. Events include live performances, an extensive screen program, numerous festivals that engage with many communities in the region, and is a key venue for hire for the arts community and the business sector in Parramatta.

Riverside Theatres has a strong commitment to enabling all members of our society to have the opportunity to participate in the arts, as audience, artist or arts lover. For 21 years, our team has been a quiet leader in the area of access and disability in the performing arts, working tirelessly to establish a range of services and artistic programs tailored to the specific needs of people with a disability.

Our programs are built on three pillars – Participation, Representation and Audience Access

Our 40 week drama workshop program engages 86 participants every year with their work culminating in an end-of-year performance each November. The program has grown by 43% in 5 years driving numbers from 10 participants per workshop up to as high as 16. Any more increase is not plausible to be able to maintain the quality and depth of engagement.

Riverside Theatres is pro-actively programming professional work by artists with a disability. Often overlooked, these artists have stories to tell that are worth telling and worth hearing. Riverside provides the opportunities for these artists to develop their art form and ultimately present it in a public performance.

Riverside Theatres takes pride in being a largely accessible building and going beyond the basics, we deliver a range of services and communications to provide relevant access to people a disability, such as:

  • Touch tours and audio-described performances for people with visual impairment
  • Hearing loops in the theatres, open captioned events and AUSLAN interpreted performances for people with hearing impairment
  • Relaxed performances for children on the spectrum

Riverside Theatres is raising funds through Get On Stage to:

  • Increase the number of weekly drama workshops and keep the number of participants down to maintain quality of engagement, so more people with disability can participate.
  • Increase the number of opportunities artists with a disability can have to develop and present their work.
  • Move to an “on demand” model, which would provide access for people with disability to attend events when they want to, to see what they want to, and ultimately, to more people.

Available Dates

September 2016
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Show dates

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