British Sign Language theatre production

Project holder: 

Deafinitely Theatre

Country of implementation: 

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Implementation year:

2015

Type of project:

Theatre


Brief project description

Produced by the non-profit organization Deafinitely Theatre, the British Sign Language Theatre Production is a theatre piece performed by a mixed cast of deaf and hearing actors, focusing on promoting deaf creativity and supporting deaf culture both in language and identity. Integrating both British Sign Language (BSL) and spoken English, this project attracted large deaf and hearing audiences including both signers and non-signers and promoted a positive model of deaf and hearing actors working together.

Objectives and expected results

One of the main objectives of this project was to raise awareness of deaf theatre and its positive contribution to the United Kingdom’s theatre landscape. This theatre production was also an opportunity to showcase the talents of deaf actors and support their professional development.

About the beneficiaries

The Deafinately Theatre presented 28 performances of George Brant’s play Grounded from 27 October – 21 November 2015 to 1,425 audience members, both deaf and hearing, in a central London theatre, largely surpassing their original target of 1,000 audience members. The performance was greeted with remarkable enthusiasm by the public, 95% of whom rated the show as “excellent”. Deaf awareness training was also provided to venue staff at the theatre.

Through facilitating contact with 39 industry professionals who attended the performances, this project succeeded in strengthening the professional opportunities for deaf actors for further training and/or employment with other creative companies.  

Testimonies

“I wanted to introduce a new style of theatre to the deaf community. For me as a deaf director I am very happy with what we achieved. We managed to keep parts of deaf culture, like the facial expression and rhythm of BSL, apparent and clear throughout the play. This show has given me the best press reviews and feedback for a production that I have ever received, and I am so thrilled by its critical reception.” Paula Garfield – Director

For more details on the project please click here