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Accessible Travel Series: The Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck

Date Published: July 11, 2023

The Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck has provided audiences with a seemingly endless supply of diverse, thought-provoking entertainment for more than 25 years. Recent performances of iconic works like “Rent,” “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Hello, Dolly!” wowed theater mavens from near and far. 

The unmistakably majestic building on Route 308 opened its doors in 1998 after four years of summer theater productions in a tent on the same piece of property. In fact, it was designed to resemble a red barn in honor of its summer stock roots. 

Inside, the cozy Sam Scripps Theater at the Center for Performing Arts presents an intimate setting in which to enjoy the show. With 165 comfortable, vintage cinema seats arranged seven rows deep in a semicircle on an incline, every visitor has a perfect view of the action. 

In addition to its helpful and knowledgeable staff, the Center for Performing Arts features an array of amenities that make it accessible and inclusive for theatergoers of all ages and abilities. Here is what visitors can expect: 

Performance of The Prom at The Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck Photo by Rachel Karashay
Performance of "The Prom" at The Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck (Photo by Rachel Karashay)


Grade-level entrances, elevators, railings and wide doorways allow patrons using wheelchairs, walkers or crutches to reach all areas of the theater. Accessible seating is located in the first row of the theater, where there are no steps.  

Accessible parking spaces are conveniently located, and accessible restroom facilities are available. 

When purchasing your tickets, be sure to inform the box office representative if you require special arrangements of any kind so you can be seated in the best spot; this could include the removal of a theater seat to accommodate a wheelchair, early admittance to the theater or help getting to your seats. Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before curtain time so the staff can comfortably assist you to your seats.    

Call the box office at (845) 876-3080 or email boxoffice@centerforperformingarts.org. 

Related: Accessible Parks & Trails 

Sensory-Friendly Performances 

The Rhinebeck Theatre Society’s performance of “The Prom” on July 16 at the Center for Performing Arts will be sensory friendly and special accommodations will be made so those with sensory issues can enjoy an unforgettable theater experience. The house lights will remain on during this performance, as will the lights in the lobby and tunnel. The volume of the show will be lower, and there will be no quick or drastic lighting shifts, including blackouts. There will be designated quiet/calm spaces and a story guide with pictures and text. Sensory supports, including earplugs and fidget spinners, will be available, and audience members are welcome to bring their own sensory supports, including seat cushions and headphones. Audience members are welcome to stand, walk around and enter and exit the theater during the performance. 

"The Prom" is an inclusive, boundary-challenging contemporary musical comedy about the commotion that ensues when the PTA at a fictional school district in Indiana cancels the senior prom to block a lesbian student from bringing her date. 

To purchase tickets, click here.

Related: Dutchess Tourism Accessible Travel Series 

Audio Assistance 

A listening system is available to visitors with hearing difficulties during all performances. This system, which incorporates the use of lightweight headsets, can help with amplification and clarity. Patrons can sit anywhere in the theater and use the headsets, which feature adjustable volume controls. These headsets are available at the box office in the lobby prior to the performance. 

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