Transcendence Theater Company presents Broadway Under the Stars!

Jack London State Park in Glen Ellen, California is a magical place.

IMG_2532_2Transcendence Theater Company added the fairy dust when they introduced Sonoma Valley to Broadway Under the Stars, performing in Jack London’s open-air winery ruins.

RobertTTC asked me to attend opening night to create The Accessibility Guide to Broadway Under the Stars, to give people with limited mobility knowledge of the grounds.  You’re reading it now.  Seeing Robert Petrarca, Associate Director, was a nice start to the evening.

shoppingArrive early!  Bring a picnic, drink wine, listen to music, shop, visit with friends, savor the moment. The time will fly and suddenly arriving at 5:00 will make total sense.

entranceEntering the park, a volunteer will guide you to appropriate handicap parking.  VIP ticket holders can park in the Upper Parking Lot if you can climb “the hill”, or the Lower Parking Lot if you need a shuttle.  Premium and General Admission should park in the Lower Parking Lot to get a shuttle.

pickup & drop offParking is easy in the Lower Parking Lot, and a shuttle follows you to your parking space. shuttleOne shuttle has a ramp, the other does not.  They’ll send the one that you need.  Handicap check-in is in the parking lot, which avoids a trip up “the hill” to the box office.

vineyardsThe shuttle takes you past picturesque vineyard views, on the route from the Lower Parking Lot.

no rampIf you have VIP tickets, and you’re strong enough to walk uphill, or have a power wheelchair or scooter, you can park in the Upper Parking Lot and hike up “the hill”.  It is somewhat steep, somewhat long, wide but with loose gravel.  The shuttle is the easier choice from the Lower Parking Lot.

parking lot portable toiletIf you’re in a rush there is a portable toilet at the edge of the VIP Upper Parking Lot.  If you’re in the Lower Parking Lot, there are more portable toilets once you arrive at the theater.

IMG_2528_2This is “the hill”.  Those with canes and walkers might manage just fine.  The photo captures the loose gravel condition, so you can make your own judgment.  It is possible to get a scooter stuck in the gravel.  I know.  A convenient alternative is to take the shuttle from the Lower Parking Lot.

shuttle stopShuttle Stop #1 the theater entrance.  This is the most popular shuttle stop, adjacent to many activities.

Portable Toilets A big beautiful handicap portable toilet is adjacent to Shuttle Stop #1 on level ground.

merchandise tentGet your t-shirts and sweatshirts at the Merchandise Tent, adjacent to Shuttle Stop #1 and on level ground.

VIPChatting with Brad Surosky, Co-Executive Director of Transcendence Theater in the VIP Lounge, adjacent to Shuttle Stop #1.  It’s down a slight grade so pick your route, as some ways will be steeper than others.  You’ll spot Brad and other performers roaming the meadow and mingling prior to the show.

meadowCome early and picnic in the meadow, with picnic tables, hay bales and pedestal tables provided for your use.  More picnic tables are up “the hill” if it’s not too steep for you.  To guarantee a picnic table, reservations should be made in advance at for $50.

the bandA band plays at the edge of the meadow.

winery partyAt every performance a featured winery hosts a pre-party.  For a $40 annual membership you can be a member of the Broadway Wine Circle and support Transcendence Theater Company.

Wine ClubYes, the Broadway Wine Circle is accessible!  Enjoy pre-performance conversation with friends.

IMG_2404A variety of food trucks are on the meadow.  Such decisions!  Bring your picnic or buy one here.  Chip can reach it from the window, but if you need them to bring it to you they will.

picnicThere’s more shade up “The Hill”.  Note the accessible picnic table.  The first 24 inches are barrier free, for an easy transfer.

CarrieEven the performers are accessible!  Carrie Manolakos, Broadway star in Mama Mia and Wicked, is beautiful, talented, and mingling with the crowd.

downhillComing back down “The Hill” reveals an incredible vista that might just make the trip up worthwhile.  Be aware of loose gravel, and decide if the shuttle is a better choice for you.

IMG_2401In case of emergency, the paramedics are standing by.

reserved seatsTime for the show!  VIP seats have a thick white cushion.   Premium seats have a medium thick burgundy cushion.  General admission chairs have no cushion.  Bring your own if you want more padding and will be using a chair.  Call the box office to get reserved handicap seating in any section.

IMG_1520The sun sets, the music rises.  Let the magic begin and get ready for one of the best nights of your life.

TIPS to make the most of your evening:

If you use 2 levels of mobility equipment, tonight’s the night to use the walker rather than the cane, the scooter rather than the walker.  If you don’t have the right mobility equipment, perhaps it’s time.  The park is a natural environment with a few bumps and divets.  Be prepared.

  • Book tickets early.

  • For VIP and Premium tickets, call the Box Office at 877-424-1414 rather than using the website.  Handicap seating is reserved on an “as needed” basis.  Book tickets before the end seats are taken.  Advise if anyone is staying in their wheelchair or scooter.  Book seats at the end of an aisle.

  • General Admission is not reserved so you can book tickets using the website.  One day prior to your performance, call the Box Office at 877-424-1414 and tell them how many seats your party will need, and if anyone is staying in their wheelchair or scooter.  They will reserve the seats at the end of an aisle.

  • General Admission ticketholders start lining up about 6:30 before the doors open at 7:00.  With reserved handicap seats you don’t need to be in line

  • Arrive early to enjoy the park, 5:00 to 5:30 is great

  • Arrive no later than 6:45 to allow ample time to make the show at 7:30

  • Dress in layers- it may be hot at the beginning

  • Bring a blanket- it may be cold at the end

  • Bring a cushion if you have General Admission tickets and will be using a chair

  • If you walk, wear comfortable shoes

  • Bring a flashlight

  • Bring an umbrella or parasol for pre-show if heat sensitive

  • Bring a picnic or buy from the food trucks

  • Bring only a service dog- no pets

  • DO NOT Bring alcohol

Visit Transcendence Theatre’s website for more information, and check out their Accessibility section!


This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Sean McQueen Reply

    This looks amazing!

  2. Elizabeth McKee Reply

    Thank you so much for working this project and launching this website. I have MS and love to find out about fun places that are accessible for me. This website is beautiful! You found a need and you are filling it! Congratulations!!

  3. Judy Doty Reply

    This is wonderful! Want everyone to have access to the valley’s most magical venue.
    You are doing a wonderful service for those with (and without) accessibility

  4. Judy Doty Reply

    Oops! Should read with accessibility issues. Got ahead of myself. 🙂

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