Access at the Ordway

The Ordway is committed to addressing barriers to participation that can restrict access to the performing arts for schoolchildren, adults, and organizations.

An Advisory Committee of individuals with disabilities, special educators, and service providers shape and inform the range of accessibility services offered. Partnerships with community leaders such as VSA Minnesota and the Minnesota Autism Center, as well as playing an active role in the Minnesota Access Alliance, are helping to lead the Ordway – beyond mere compliance – toward an inclusive environment where programs and employment are accessible to all.

Select performances and events have scheduled access services, including American Sign Language interpretation, audio description, open captioning, or designated Sensory-Friendly.

The Ordway also offers these services for non-designated performances and events upon request with at least two weeks advance notice. Requests are subject to the availability of a service provider and at the discretion of the management.

Contact us

Ticket Service Agents are available to assist you with seat availability and selection. Please inform the Agent of any accommodation needs at the time of purchase. To purchase tickets or request a service described below, please call Ordway Ticket Services at 651.224.4222 (Voice) | 651.282.3100 (TTY) | or access@ordway.org.


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Accessible Entrances

The Ordway is located at 345 Washington Street in downtown Saint Paul directly across from Rice Park. The main entrance on Washington Street is accessible and a cut-out area is available. Music Theater elevators operate between the Orchestra main level, Mezzanine 2nd level, and Balcony levels on the northwest side of the lobby. Concert Hall elevators operate on Main floor, 1st Tier, 2nd Tier level, and the Lower Level on the northeast side of the lobby.

The Travelers Artist Entrance on 5th Street, on north side of the building, has an inclined entrance.

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Accessible Parking

Accessible parking near the Ordway is limited. Any parking meter is free for vehicles with a validation.

There are numerous parking ramps within two blocks distance. There is no direct skyway connection to the Ordway, but if you are coming through the RiverCentre you can get very close to the main entrance. View more parking and public transportation options.>>

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Accessible Restrooms

The Ordway has two accessible companion care / family restrooms. One is located next to the coat check on the south side of the Ordway’s main lobby and the other is located on the Concert Hall Lower Level.

Additional Music Theater accessible restrooms are located on the Mezzanine level and Balcony levels (when available) on the northwest side of the lobby; and Concert Hall accessible restrooms are located in the lower level.

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Accessible & Reserved Seating

Accessible seating includes designated spaces for individuals who use wheelchairs or need aisle transfer seats and companion seats.

The Music Theater has accessible seats on the Orchestra Main level, Mezzanine 2nd level, and 3rd level Balcony Loge (right side).

The Concert Hall has aisle seats with arms that swing away at select locations, allowing people to easily transfer into a seat from a wheelchair, walker or other assistive device.  There are also some locations reserved for guests who would wish to remain in their wheelchair at the rear of the Main Floor on the left or right as well as locations in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 levels.

View a detailed seating chart for the Music Theater or the Concert Hall that shows the location of accessible seating.

Reserved seating for individuals with low vision, who are hard of hearing, use American Sign Language-interpretation or use open-captioning are subject to availability.

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American Sign Language-Interpretation

Trained professionals interpret spoken words into American Sign Language (ASL). ASL-interpretation is scheduled for select Ordway events throughout the year. View our calendar for a complete list of ASL-interpreted performances and events.>>

Tickets can be purchased online or by contacting Ordway Ticket Services at 651.224.4222 (Voice) | 651.282.3100 (TTY) or access@ordway.org.

The interpreter is typically located on the floor, house right. Recommended seating locations for individuals who use ASL-interpretation are subject to availability.

The Ordway also offers ASL-interpretation for non-designated events upon request. If you need ASL-interpretation, please make a request no less than 2 weeks in advance of the event. This request is subject to the availability of an interpreter and is provided at the discretion of the management.

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Assistive Listening

Assistive listening devices amplify and clarify sound by cutting down or eliminating ambient noise. Infrared assistive listening systems are installed in both theaters; headsets may be used at any seat, and are available at all performances.

To check out a headset for use during the performance, be prepared to leave your state identification card, driver’s license, or other form of ID with an Ordway staff member. Your card will be returned to you upon receipt of a headset following the show. Headsets are distributed free-of-charge on a first-come first-serve basis.

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Audio Description

Audio description is scheduled for select Ordway events throughout the year. Using an infrared headset, guests can listen to trained audio describers give live, verbal descriptions of movements, facial expressions, costumes, scenery, lighting and other visual elements of a performance, providing the context they would otherwise miss. Parts of the program are also read aloud before the performance.

To check out a headset for use during the performance, be prepared to leave your state identification card, driver’s license, or other form of ID with an Ordway staff member. Your card will be returned to you upon receipt of a headset following the show. Headsets are distributed free-of-charge on a first-come first-serve basis. View our calendar for a complete list of audio described performances and events.>>

Tickets can be purchased online or by contacting Ordway Ticket Services at 651.224.4222 (Voice) | 651.282.3100 (TTY) or access@ordway.org.

The Ordway also offers audio description for non-designated events upon request. If you need audio description, please make a request no less than 2 weeks in advance of the event. This request is subject to the availability of a describer and is provided at the discretion of the management.

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Alternative Format Materials

Braille and Large Print Programs are available for most performances and may be obtained from an Ordway staff member.

Upon request with two-weeks advanced notice, alternate formats can be made available.

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Community Access Program

Ordway’s Community Access Program is part of our commitment to address barriers to participation that can restrict access to the performing arts. Generous funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board operating support grant and individual donors allows for multiple pathways of participation, from free community events to transportation support and discounted tickets for select performances.

For more information about the Community Access Program, contact Ordway Ticket Services at 651.224.4222 (Voice) | 651.282.3100 (TTY) or access@ordway.org.

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Curb to Seat Service and Drop-off

An accessible drop-off cut-out area is available and located at the main entrance of the Ordway at 345 Washington Street (on the east side of the building). Please note occasionally this option is not available for pick-up as Washington Street may be closed for pedestrian traffic.

Ordway doorkeepers are available prior to all performances to assist guests before and after the performance. Medics are available to assist guests to their seats and/or wheelchair-accessible locations.

Mobility aids that cannot be stored safely within the guest’s seating area and wheelchairs for those guests who transfer to a theater seat will be stored outside the theater as close as possible to guest’s seat.

At intermission, medics make every effort to check in with guests who may need assistance getting to restroom entrances or intermission bars. At the conclusion of the performance, Ordway staff members are available to assist guests.

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Noise-Canceling Headphones

Noise Reducing Headphones are available for guests’ use. Headphones can benefit individuals with autism spectrum disorder and others with sensory sensitivities. No reservations needed.

To check out a headset for use during the performance, be prepared to leave your state identification card, driver’s license, or other form of ID with an Ordway staff member. Your card will be returned to you upon receipt of a headset following the show. Headsets are distributed free-of-charge on a first-come first-serve basis.

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Open Captioning

Open captioning is scheduled for select Ordway events throughout the year. An experienced captioner types a transcript of spoken words and audible sounds that are projected in real time. Three lines of text scrolls up onto a four-foot-long LED sign in sync with the event. View our calendar for a complete list of open captioned performances and events.>>

Tickets can be purchased online or by contacting Ordway Ticket Services at 651.224.4222 (Voice) | 651.282.3100 (TTY) or access@ordway.org.

The captioning unit is typically located on the floor, house right. Recommended seating locations for individuals who use open captioning are subject to availability.

The Ordway also offers open captioning for non-designated events upon request. If you need open captioning, please make a request no less than 2 weeks in advance of the event. This request is subject to the availability of a captioner and is provided at the discretion of the management.

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Sensory-Friendly

Select Ordway performances and events are designated Sensory-Friendly to create a performing arts experience that is welcoming, safe, non-judgmental, and nurturing environment for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other individuals with sensory, social and learning disabilities.

It involves adapting the house rules, audience environment, as well as pre-theater preparatory activities so the audience begins to understand and anticipate what might happen during a performing arts experience. A knowledgeable advisory committee of teachers, parents and organizations helped inform and shape these opportunities. View our calendar for a complete list of Sensory-Friendly performances and events.>>

Tickets can be purchased online or by contacting Ordway Ticket Services at 651.224.4222 (Voice) | 651.282.3100 (TTY) or access@ordway.org.

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Service Animals

Trained service animals are allowed in all areas of the facility where people are allowed unless the animal poses a direct threat, a fundamental alteration, is not housebroken or is not under the control of the person with the disability. Service animals must remain on a leash or harness at all times and will rest in the seating area of the individual with a disability. Service animals may not use additional seats unless a ticket has been purchased for the adjacent seat. All other animals are prohibited.

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Touch Tours*

Held in conjunction with audio described performances, touch tours allow people who are blind or have low vision to connect voices with characters, and interact with scenery and costumes to provide additional context in advance of the performance.

* No touch tours are scheduled at this time. To inquire about future opportunities, please contact: Ordway Ticket Services at 651.224.4222 (Voice) | 651.282.3100 (TTY) or access@ordway.org.

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More Info Accessibility IconQuestions

For additional information, need assistance, an accommodation not mentioned above, or would like to or receive additional information about accessibility at the Ordway, please contact us and let us know what we can do to enhance your experience, contact: Ordway Ticket Services at 651.224.4222 (Voice) | 651.282.3100 (TTY) or access@ordway.org.

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