ASHEBORO, N.C. — The next time you see a play at the Sunset Theatre in Asheboro, you may notice people in the audience wearing headsets.
RhinoLeap Productions hopes to consistently offer live interpretation for non-English speaking people.
With the help of groups Siembra NC and Empanada Consulting, RhinoLeap was able to provide headsets for Spanish speakers attending a performance of its last production – Leaving Eden.
“The interpreter actually sat up in the top of the balcony and whispered into a microphone during the entire performance. He was sitting well away from the crowd, so he didn’t interfere with anything,” RhinoLeap Productions Executive Director Thomas Osteen said.
“I love [that] bridges are being built. It’s exciting,” RhinoLeap board member Dustie Gregson said.
Osteen hopes that this can be a permanent part of the theater experience, or at minimum used in at least one performance per show.
“Most of the young people in the Hispanic community are English speaking, but their parents may not be, and so wouldn’t it be nice to be able to come to the theater with your parents or with your grandparents and I think that’s one of the goals that we have,” he said.
RhinoLeap also hopes it can use similar technology to assist the hearing impaired.