Mark Lasser has sued producers of the show, claiming Hamilton is denying blind and visually impaired fans equal access to performances across the U.S. because the show doesn’t offer audio description technology. The service provides patrons with a small receiver that connects to headphones and plays audio narration that describes visual elements of the scenes.
“Many individuals who are blind or visually-impaired enjoy watching musicals in theatres and engaging in this classic part of American cultural life,” writes attorney C.K. Lee in the complaint. “Audio description technology is essential to the live musical experience for blind individuals, so that they will know what is happening in scenes without dialogue or scenes that include significant visual elements.”
Lasser says he contacted the box office at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York to inquire about services for the blind and visually impaired and was told none were available. He also claims he tried to resolve the issue without a lawsuit but producers were not responsive.
Nederlander Organization, which owns the theater Lasser contacted; the show’s producer, Hamilton Uptown LLC; and its manager, Baseline Theatrical LLC, are named as defendants in the lawsuit. None of the companies have responded to a request for comment in response to the suit.
Lasser is asking the court to order defendants to provide audio description equipment and live narration services once each week with 25 audio sets available for the show.