Hear Us Now: Music Hall Revamps Audio System for Hearing Impaired

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DALLAS, TX -- For 75 years, the Dallas Summer Musicals at Fair Park has entertained the masses, and popular productions have taken center stage.

But, what if instead of hearing the melodic and iconic melodies, all you heard was muffled and muted noise? Well, for the hearing impaired community, it’s the reality anytime they take in a show at the theater. That is, until now.

"We’re going to do whatever is necessary to improve the sonic experience of our patrons,” Exec. Committee with DSM Barry Epstein said. “Maybe we’re helping this part of the spectrum before, but now we can [help many more].”

Call it Fair Park’s second act: Hear Us Now.

"All of the technology is designed to combat the distance from the speakers," Dr.  Carol Cokely said. Cokely is the clinical associate professor at the University of Texas at Dallas. "The system is designed to bring the sound directly to the ears of the listeners.”

The joint effort uses technology to improve the sound, and experience, inside the theater for everyone in the audience. The amped audio system now allows multiple options for guests to hear and enjoy a show on stage.

"I have been to several shows here before in the past, they’ve been very hard to understand," hearing impaired patron Bailey Turfitt explained. "I would enjoy what I could see, but hearing, not so much.”

Turfitt was among a group of patrons selected to test out the new technology. "It's so clear now. I can hear everything – I’m hearing things I’ve never heard before,” she said with excitement.

It sounds impressive, and it appears some theater patrons agree.

"If you can’t hear the words or dialogues, and you can’t hear the music – it’s almost nil for you to come," Ralph McClendon said.

"I think it will increase the attendance here."