Audio described performances

The Nutcracker – Audio Described Performances

These performances give vision impaired patrons the opportunity to attend a performance of The Ryman Healthcare Season of The Nutcracker with trained audio describer Nicola Owen broadcasting live commentary which patrons will hear through an earpiece. There will be audio described performances at both schools’ matinees and public performances of The Nutcracker. See below for more details.

A free Touch Tour and an introduction to ballet terminology will be held before  the show. Patrons can walk through the set, touch set pieces, feel costumes, handle key props and learn more about the production. RNZB Dance Educator Lucy Marinkovich will explain various ballet terms and the shapes and quality of the movements from the ballet.

Nicola Owen is one of the first trained Audio Describers in New Zealand. She has worked as an Audio Describer since 2011 and she has described live shows including musicals, opera and awards ceremonies. She has also led a series of Audio Described guided walks and Gallery/Museum tours for groups of blind people. She even coordinated social events for the Association of Blind Citizens Auckland branch, of which she is an associate member. She is a qualified rehabilitation worker for working with blind people and has experience in teaching sighted guiding skills. She recently led her first Audio Describer training for Arts Access Aotearoa.

Read more about The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker Audio Described Public Performances

Auckland Civic Theatre – FULLY BOOKED
Sunday 9th December
1pm – 1:45pm Touch Tour
3:00pm Performance
Bookings: Ticketmaster Group Booking line 09 970 9745 or

Please note
A free companion ticket is available if required and guide dogs are welcome. 
In Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch please contact Berys Cuncannon to advise how many headsets you will need, if you plan on attending the free Touch Tour before the show, and if you are bringing a guide dog. Ticket prices are $25 for children and $48 for adults + booking fees. Ticket price includes a free companion ticket. Contact your local ticketing agency for more details.

The Nutcracker Audio Described School Matinees
We are pleased to advise that Parents of Vision Impaired New Zealand Inc have generously provided sponsorship enabling vision impaired children and young people plus their carers to attend an audio described school matinee performance of The Nutcracker ballet free of charge.

Due to the popularity of these events, seats are allocated on a first come, first served basis – book now so you don’t miss out!
Please complete the booking form and return it to contact RNZB Education & Community Manager Pascale Parenteau, / (04)381 9001

Auckland Civic Theatre – Places still available
Friday 7 December
10am – 11am Touch Tour
12:30pm Performance

Watch a video of last year’s audio described performance.


HJ9300 The Nutcracker audio-described performance Opera House, Wellington November 2018. Image by Stephen A'’Court.

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