photo of Mark Messersmith

About The Visual Voice

After training with Prof. Gregory Frazier, creator of AudioVision, and five years of shows at AMTSJ (American Musical Theater of San Jose), Mark Messersmith came to The Visual Voice in 1998 and worked with founder Madelyn Dovano before taking the reins of the company when Madelyn passed in 2002. Mark has been the audio describer for all but five shows at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley from 2001 to 2020. His first solo description for the Visual Voice was in 1999 for TWs acclaimed Romeo & Juliet.

What is Audio Description?

Audio description is the craft of speaking pictorially during live theatre productions whereby a trained voice “describes” to the blind and visually impaired those things they cannot see, without interfering with their experience of the performance.

Patrons listen through small individual receivers as an unseen describer broadcasts unobtrusive descriptions of the visual elements of the event, such as action, costumes, setting, etc.

Who is the describer?

Mark D. Messersmith is the resident describer and performs most of the description. On rare occassions other talented and qualified describers fill in. All describers are trained by Mark Messersmith.

Which performances are described?

In most cases TheatreWorks offers 3 audio-described performances for each show in their season, and offers discounted tickets for those ordering tickets from the box office and mentioning The Visual Voice.

When purchasing tickets at (650) 463-1960, tell the box office you want “Visual Voice tickets”.