“Captions” and “Subtitles” both transliterate speech as it is happening, but captions try to describe the full soundscape for the deaf and hard of hearing. How the characters are speaking lines, noises that the characters are making, the sounds around them.
"Open Captioning" in a live setting refers to captions that are presented to the entire audience, via TV, projector, etc.
"Closed Captioning" is the same captions broadcast to personal devices like mobile phones, tablets, glasses, etc.
"Communication Access Real-time Translation". CART captioners, or real-time captioners, do not pre-build captions from a script. They are skilled technicians with special hardware that allows them to transliterate speech in real time. You must use a CART captioner for any part of your event that is not scripted: after-show talkbacks, pre-show speeches, etc.
Good captioning is crucial, but what sets you apart is investing in thoughtful customer service. Train box office and house managers on dates of captioned shows, access ticket prices, and where to assign seating.
Ensure that captions can be read from any assigned seating, and always keep in mind the line of sight…you don't want people reading captions to look like they're following a tennis match as they move their attention from the actors to the TV/projectors.
Captioners should be encouraged to collaborate with set, lighting, and music designers to integrate captions artfully into the production.
For example: is there a way to build the captioning display directly into the set? Add "accessibility designers" to your team and have everyone work together.