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The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts Accessibility Features

Here is a Review of The Kravis Center for The Performing Arts Accessibility Features by a Wheelchair User

By: Rosemarie Rossetti

As a person with a spinal cord injury, I travel with my folding scooter and manual wheelchair. My husband and I like to pack in as much as possible into our vacation days. We enjoy fine dining, botanical gardens, art and theatre performances.

On my recent trip to West Palm Beach, I had the opportunity to visit the Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. Concert Hall at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts to see the performance of the musical Hamilton.

Here is a review of this amazing venue.

The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts Accessibility Features

About the Kravis Center for The Performing Arts

The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts is located downtown at 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach, Florida.

The facilities include four venues – the 2,195-seat Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. Concert Hall, the 289-seat Rinker Playhouse, and the 170-seat Helen K. Persson Hall.

Additionally, the Kravis Center’s facilities include the Cohen Pavilion, housing the Weiner Banquet Center and the Gimelstob Ballroom, The Elmore Family Business Center for the Arts, and The Picower Foundation Arts Education Center, which includes Persson Hall and The Khoury Family Dance Rehearsal Hall.

The Cohen Pavilion is a grand, multipurpose facility with meeting and catering facilities, including the 10,500 square-foot Weiner Banquet Center and Gimelstob Ballroom with seating for more than 700 people, and The Picower Foundation Arts Education Center with the Helen K. Persson Hall, practice rooms, classrooms, lecture halls, theatre labs, a dance studio, and recording studio. These and many more amenities make this one of the most versatile and beautiful facilities in Palm Beach County.

A description of the accessibility features and services can be found here.

Hamilton at The Kravis Center: My Experience

On a recent trip to West Palm Beach, my husband and I were invited to see the musical Hamilton at the beautiful Kravis Center. We were staying across the street at the Hilton West Palm Beach, which made it very convenient to cross the street in my manual wheelchair and go up the theatre ramp entrance into the lobby.

We arrived an hour before the show to take a tour of the accessible features of the theater and the services provided to patrons with disabilities. Senior Director of Marketing and Public Relations Phala Murray led the tour. I found it easy to roll through the lobby and the ramps leading from one floor to another.

The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts Accessibility Features

They offer complimentary manual wheelchairs to patrons who need them on a first-come first-served basis. They also offer Assistive Listening Devices, which we utilized during part of the performance.

I was the first person allowed into the theatre before the performance. I was awestruck! The expansive number of seats, a giant stage, and beautiful lighting were overwhelming.

As we toured the facility, we were shown the accessible seating areas located on multiple levels throughout the theater. Patrons who used scooters or wheelchairs could stay in their mobility devices or transfer to a seat. When patrons purchase tickets, they can also buy a ticket for their companion in the accessible seating area.

Signs were posted in the lobby for the musical Hamilton, indicating that the performance contained haze, smoke, simulated gunshots, and loud sound effects.

I requested to transfer to an aisle seat and was escorted by a trained staff member. The closest to the aisle armrest on the seat folded back, allowing me more clearance as I transferred from my wheelchair to the seat. A tag was placed on my wheelchair, and I was given a claim ticket. My wheelchair was then parked adjacent to the aisle against the wall near my seat so that I could keep an eye on it.

During the intermission, I went to the single-person accessible restroom. There was ample space for my wheelchair, grab bars, space under the sink for my knees, and the soap dispenser and towels were reachable.

The Kravis Center is committed to providing accessible features and services to its patrons. The building was designed with accessibility in mind. The staff is dedicated to ensuring all patrons can fully enjoy their performances regardless of ability.

The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts Accessibility Features

Accessibility Features and Services at the Kravis Center

Ticketing

  • Accessible website provides information about upcoming events, ticketing, and accessibility features and services.
  • Accessible seating for guests with disabilities and a companion is available for all shows on a first-come, first-served basis and should be arranged when tickets are purchased.
  • Service animals are welcome inside, and suitable seating for patrons will be arranged when tickets are purchased.

Buy tickets.

Outside the Venue

  • The wide sidewalks, crosswalks, and curb cuts leading to the Kravis Center are easy to navigate in a wheelchair, walker, or scooter.
  • There is a drop-off area for patrons who need to be close to the entrance.
  • Complimentary designated accessible parking is available on each floor in the parking garage on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Wheelchair-accessible ramps lead patrons from the sidewalk to the main entrance.

Inside the Venue

  • Accessible customer service with trained staff are available to assist patrons and provide guidance.
  • Complimentary wheelchairs are available to assist patrons on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • The counter at the concession area accommodates people who are in wheelchairs or short-statured.
  • Next to the concession area are low dining tables suitable for people in wheelchairs.
  • Hard surface flooring and low pile carpet make it easy to roll on in a wheelchair.
  • Ample lighting is available throughout the theatre before and after the performance.
  • Accessible restrooms equipped with grab bars and ample space to accommodate patrons with mobility devices.
Kravis center bar
  • Wheelchair-accessible ramps lead patrons from one level of the theater to another.
  • Four elevators take patrons from one floor to another.
  • Wide aisles throughout the theater make it easy to access seating.
  • Wheelchair-accessible and companion seating is available on multiple floors.
  • Selected seats on the aisle were designed for easy transfer from a wheelchair or scooter with armrests that swing away.
  • Patrons who transfer from their wheelchair or scooter to an aisle seat will have their mobility devices stored against the wall near their seats.
  • Patrons who transfer from their wheelchair or scooter to an aisle seat will have a claim ticket attached to their mobility device.
Kravis center for the performing arts

Special Services

  • For patrons with visual impairments, 18-point type large print programs are available on request at the Guest Services Desk in the lobby.
  • Sign Language Interpreters are provided at selected performances.
  • Braille signage is on elevators and restroom signs throughout the theater.
  • Assistive Listening Devices are available at no charge at the Guest Services Desk in the lobby on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • For some performances, a T-Coil hearing loop infrared audio enhancement system is available for the hearing impaired .
  • Live performance captioning (or open captioning) is available as a text display located on the side of the stage that scrolls words in synchronization with the performance.
  • For the musical Hamilton, signs were posted in the main lobby indicating that the performance contained haze and smoke.
  • For the musical Hamilton, signs were posted in the main lobby advising people that this performance included simulated gunshots and loud sound effects.
The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts Accessibility Features

The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts Accessibility Features

Rosemarie Rossetti

Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized accessibility consultant, speaker, author, and president of Rossetti Enterprises LLC. www.RosemarieSpeaks.com

Having been paralyzed from the waist down with a spinal cord injury, she speaks from her wheelchair, sharing her dramatic personal story. She presents to audiences throughout the U.S. and beyond as a recognized expert on inclusive design.

Rossetti and her husband led a design team, built and live in the Universal Design Living Laboratory, North America’s top-rated universal design home. www.udll.com

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