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TDF's Access for Young Audiences program has recently begun presenting audio described performances for young theatregoers who are blind or have low vision.


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TDF Membership Supporting Theatre and Dance Programs



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Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, visually impaired or who require special seating because of a physical disability may prefer a
TDF Accessibility Membership

Click here to return to the Membership information page.

A portion of each ticket sold (in most cases, $4.00) is used to support our many not-for-profit programs such as:

TDF Theatre Subsidy Program: TDF's oldest program provides direct support (as much as $13 on top of what you, as the member, pay) to artistically adventurous or meritorious new Broadway and Off Broadway productions. Last year, TDF supplemented the cost of over 80,000 theatre tickets for members by paying an additional $9 per ticket for 24 new Broadway shows, including the Tony Award-winning productions of Once, Clybourne Park, Peter and the Starcatcher, Death of A Salesman, Venus in Fur and One Man, Two Guvnors, and 19 Off Broadway productions, including Tribes, Cock, How the World Began and Neighborhood Watch. The projects TDF chooses to support this way often enjoy little advance sale, even with favorable reviews, and require time to find an audience. TDF's subsidy helps keep shows running while word-of-mouth builds in the critical early part of the run.

Similarly, TDF’s Dance Subsidy Program supported 40 dance companies last season and brought audiences who otherwise might not have been able to attend to their performances while subsidizing over 20,000 tickets last season by $13 per ticket.

TDF Education Programs:
  • Open Doors program which is a mentoring program, founded in 1998 by Tony- and Pulitzer-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein and Broadway production stage manager, Roy Harris, offering small groups of high school students an in-depth introduction to live theatre and dance. Each group works with one or more dedicated theatre and dance professionals throughout the school year.
  • Stage Doors program where teaching artists collaborate with classroom teachers to develop a series of eight workshops designed to prepare students for an informed, engaged theatre-going experience, which is the culmination of the program.
  • Residency Arts Project which is an intensive playwriting program that brings teaching artists into the classroom to guide students in writing original scenes and plays. The students' work is then given a public staged reading by professional actors at the end of the school year.
  • Plus many more opportunities.

TDF Accessibility Programs whose mission is to increase access to theatre for all audiences.

  • Open Captioning at select performances: An electronic text display to the side of the stage shows what the actors are saying or singing and describes sound effects on stage.
  • Autism Theatre Initiative performances: On October 2, 2011, TDF launched this new service to make theatre accessible to children and adults on the autism spectrum as well as their families. These shows are performed in a friendly, supportive environment for an audience of families and friends with children or adults who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other sensitivity issues. Slight adjustments are made to the production including reduction of any jarring sounds or strobe lights. Quiet areas are staffed in the theatre lobby and dedicated activity areas are available for those who needed to leave their seats during the performance. In addition, downloadable social stories (in Word format), with pictures of the theatres and productions, are made available several months in advance of these performances. Each document is designed to personalize the experience for each attendee with ASD. Tickets are offered through TDF at affordable prices.
  • Sign language interpreting at select performances: An interpreter uses American Sign Language to describe what the actors are saying or singing, as well as sound effects on stage.
  • Audio Description at select performances: A specially trained describer explains what's happening on stage during pauses in dialogue. The describer uses a headset microphone, while individuals in need of the service listen through a receiver with a single earpiece.
  • Accessible seating: Members who use wheelchairs or are able to transfer from their wheelchairs into aisle seats can obtain the seating they require. Members who are low vision or blind can order tickets that place them closer to the stage and also obtain appropriate seating to accommodate guide dogs.

TDF Costume Collection houses more than 75,000 costumes and accessories from Broadway and Off Broadway productions, opera companies and touring companies, the Costume Collection and provides these professionally designed costumes at affordable prices to performing arts organizations, colleges and universities, middle and high schools, and community and charitable groups. The reasonable prices not only allow fledgling companies to mount more professional-looking shows; they also help theatres to produce a greater number of new works by keeping production costs down.

TDF Stages: Every week, our online theatre magazine takes readers behind the scenes of their favorite theatre and dance productions. Whether it's an interview with a celebrated actor, a feature on an exciting set design, or a backstage video from a long-running hit, this exclusive content gives readers the full story on the performing arts in New York City. Plus, TDF Stages features regular blog posts from TDF staff members, who keep readers updated on everything from buying tickets to bringing theatre to disadvantaged communities.

These are just a few highlights of the programs TDF supports as a not-for-profit, much of which is maintained through the fees generated from TDF's Membership program.

If you wish to help support these programs further please click here.