This article was first published by The Times of Israel and is re-posted with permission.
Fiddling with your phone is generally frowned upon at a Broadway show, and it is likely to interfere with your enjoyment of the event. But a new app encourages you to do just that — and in fact aims to enhance your experience.
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The GalaPro app, created by the Herzliya, Israel-based startup GalaPrompter, provides smartphone users with multilingual subtitles, dubbing, and amplification services, allowing theater lovers, especially those who are vision- or hearing-challenged, or who don’t speak English, to follow what is happening onstage.
“Culture connects people globally,” said CEO Yonat Burlin in a phone interview. “The idea is make it accessible and open to everyone.”
According to an agreement reached by the company with theater organizations, its services will be implemented at all Broadway theaters by the end of 2018, said Burlin. The app can be already used at many Broadway shows, she said, including “The Band’s Visit,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Chicago” and “Hello Dolly.”
The initiative is part of a theater industry push to make Broadway more accessible to people with disabilities, she said.
In addition, June’s 72nd Annual Tony Awards, which recognize excellence in Broadway productions, will feature the app, enabling the visually impaired to listen to a description of what is happening on stage and giving those with hearing disabilities a transcript of what the hosts are saying in real time.
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