Paper Mill Playhouse seeks to welcome guests of all abilities and make their experience as accessible as possible! The theater has an extensive program of access services scheduled for select Mainstage performances, as well as additional accommodations available for all performances and events:
Designated accessible parking spaces are located in Parking Lot A, situated at the rear of the building and accessible to the front entrance via our brick courtyard to the side of the building. A map and parking information can be found on our Parking Information page. We also recommend patrons using wheelchairs or mobility aides to utilize our drop-off zone in front of the theater to disembark their vehicles for faster entry into the building.
Parking Lot C also provides a level route to the theater entrance and may be utilized for accessible parking, though no spaces are officially designated as such, and patrons must cross Brookside Drive to reach the front of the theater from this parking lot.
The lower lobby is wheelchair accessible through the front entrance of the theater only. The lower lobby includes the box office & access services window, women’s restroom, and main concessions bar. Elevator access is available to the upper lobby, lower gallery, and upper gallery levels. The men’s restroom and the entrance to the orchestra level of the auditorium are located at the upper lobby level. A single-use, accessible bathroom is located directly next to the elevator at the upper lobby level, across from the gift shop. An additional concessions bar and the donor lounge are located at the lower gallery level.
There are no steps required to reach any row in the orchestra level. Free-standing chairs are located in the last row of the left- and right-side sections that are designated for patrons in wheelchairs or with other mobility disabilities and their companions.
Please Note: Seats WC-10 and WC-9 are considered companion-only seating. These specific free-standing chairs are in front of columns and are not wheelchair accessible.
The following seats in the orchestra are also designated as transfer seats for patrons in wheelchairs, where the outer armrest is removable to allow patrons to transfer:
- Row X, seats 1, 2, 101, & 114
- Row J, seats 1, 2, 101, & 114
Patrons who transfer from their wheelchairs or mobility devices will be able to have their chair or device stored with house management for the duration of the performance; ushers will be available to assist patrons in retrieving their chair or device.
A limited number of wheelchairs are available for transport to and from your seats, free of charge. Please inquire with house management. These wheelchairs are not available for seating during the performance.
There are no accessible seats designated at the mezzanine level, as stairs are required to reach every row:
- 5 steps up are required to reach the first row of the center mezzanine.
- 7 steps up are required to reach the first row of the side sections of the mezzanine.
- There are 2 steps up per row beginning with row BB in the center mezzanine and row CC in the side sections of the mezzanine.
- An additional 16 steps up are required to reach the rear of the center mezzanine.
- An additional 14 steps up are required to reach the rear of the side sections of the mezzanine.
- A total of 4 steps down are required to reach the front row of each Box of the front mezzanine.
Assistive listening devices are available for patrons who are hard of hearing to assist with amplification and clarity of the performance. Headsets and devices, cleaned between each performance, may be obtained at the access services window of the box office in the lower lobby. A name and phone number are required to check out the devices.
Due to high demand, it is recommended patrons who intend to utilize an assistive listening device arrive at least 45 minutes prior to curtain.
For patrons who are blind or have low vision, a limited quantity of braille and large-print programs are available for each Mainstage performance. Programs may be obtained from the access services window of the box office in the lower lobby.
Scheduled ASL-interpreted performances are offered for Mainstage productions. With the assistance of an advisory board composed of both Deaf and hearing members, Paper Mill Playhouse hires trained theatrical interpreters for these performances. Discount tickets are available to patrons using this service.
At this time, there are no ASL-interpreted performances scheduled for our 2022-2023 season.
Audio description for patrons who are blind or have low vision is available for each Mainstage production. Using an earpiece attached to a small, hand-size transistor, patrons can hear a live, objective, and concise description of the action on stage in between dialogue and/or music.
“Sensory Seminars” occur prior to each performance where patrons can receive more detailed descriptions of the costumes, set, and props, as well as feel select items to gain a more tactile experience.
Headsets and devices, cleaned between each performance, may be obtained at the access services window of the box office in the lower lobby. A name and phone number are required to check out the devices.
Scheduled open-captioned performances are offered for every Mainstage production. A large digital screen which projects dialogue as the action occurs live on stage is placed on the edge of the stage on the left side of the auditorium.
Autism-friendly performances are theater experiences in which the environment and typical “rules of attendance” have been relaxed to accommodate individuals with Autism and other developmental disabilities and the families and professionals who support them.
Service dogs are defined as any certified dog which helps with performing a function for a person that is limited by a disability; the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires they be admitted in the theater.
Patrons who utilize any of the following services are eligible to purchase tickets at the lowest standard rate:
- Wheelchair accessible seating (located in the rear of the left- and right-side orchestra).
- Seating near ASL interpreters and/or open captioning services (located in the front of the left-side orchestra).
- Use of a provided listening device for audio description services.
A total of 4 discounted tickets are available per patron with an applicable access need for themselves and their companion(s). Please note, a maximum of 4 wheelchair accessible seats may be purchased per patron with an applicable access need to maintain availability for other patrons with disabilities.
Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) is a telephone service that allows persons with hearing or speech disabilities to place and receive telephone calls. Just as you can call 411 for information, you can dial 711 to connect to certain forms of TRS anywhere in the United States. For more information visit the Federal Communications Commission website at fcc.gov.
Major funding for autism-friendly programs is provided by the Merck Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Paper Mill Playhouse’s accessibility programs are generously supported by BD, Fund for the New Jersey Blind, The Karma Foundation, Merck Foundation, and The Summit Foundation.
The Hearst Foundations are Paper Mill’s Education & Outreach Partner.