The Arts Council has announced a total of £301,008 to support deaf and disabled-led arts organisations to go nationwide with two tours.
Deafinitely Theatre is only professional deaf-led theatre company in the UK that works bilingually in British Sign Language (BSL) and spoken English, and produces work that caters for all ages.
It has been awarded £81,008 for Deafinitely Little: a deaf-led bilingual touring theatre project developed for families in partnership with theatres across five English regions. A programme of audience development, participation and training activities will accompany high quality theatre productions, aiming to engage and retain interest from underserved deaf family audiences.
Graeae Theatre Company is a disabled-led theatre company, placing D/deaf and disabled artists centre-stage.
After an acclaimed premier in 2010 and highly successful 2012 tour, Graeae will receive £220,000 to tour Reasons to be Cheerful, a mid-scale musical featuring the iconic music of Ian Dury, to seven regions across England, serving communities where there is a need for diverse, high quality shows in mid-scale venues.
Joyce Wilson, London Area Director, Arts Council England, said:
“Each venue involved in the Deafinitely Little tour will develop its knowledge of local d/Deaf audiences and the skills required to fully integrate accessible productions, enabling bilingual (English and BSL) work to be seen by a huge number of people who may have not previously engaged with it.
“Graeae continues to produce excellent, enjoyable theatre for all. Not only will this tour share that with venues nationally, it will hammer home the importance of integrated accessibility in the arts by, for example, only touring to venues that are fully accessible front and back stage. It is the Creative Case for Diversity in action.”
Artistic Director of Deafinitely Theatre, Paula Garfield said:
“I am delighted that we have been awarded this funding. It will enable us to take our bilingual family show out to a wider audience that will include families who use both British Sign Language and spoken English. This means deaf children with hearing brothers and sisters or deaf grandparents with hearing grandchildren can all go to the theatre and enjoy this experience as a family together. The Arts Council is enabling us to reach deaf people all over the country who rarely have the opportunity to see a bilingual family show. I am so excited about this opportunity and can’t wait to get our shows out on the road!”
Jenny Sealey MBE, Artistic Director, Graeae, said:
“This is indeed a Reason to be Cheerful and you could have knocked us down with a feather when we got this wonderful news from Arts Council England. What an opportunity to bring this fully accessible show of anarchy, politics and rock n roll to audiences across England. It is so exciting – a truly awesome start to our year!’’
The funding is part of the Arts Council’s Strategic Touring Programme, which aims to give people better access to quality work in a range of venues to reach more people across the country, targeting places with low levels of art engagement and those that rely on touring for arts and culture. It welcomes applications for a wide range of arts on tour including, in particular, mid-scale theatre, inbound international work, and more work by and for people from diverse backgrounds.
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne. Find out how to write for us by clicking here, how to follow us by clicking here, and read our disclaimer here.
The site exists thanks to our supporters. Check them out below:
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. Find out about the Deaf fashion bloggers taking on the world!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignLive: Online video interpreting for Deaf people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- Signature: Leading awarding body for BSL qualifications
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Signworld: Learn BSL online!
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- Association of Notetaking Professionals: The professional body representing Electronic and Manual Notetakers
- Sign Solutions: communication support, training and translation
- InterpretersLive: On demand BSL video interpretation
- Cast Theatre, Doncaster: The UK's the UK’s first fully BSL integrated pantomime
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Ozen: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- deafPLUS: BSL advice helpline
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- Royal Shakespeare Company: Captioned and BSL interpreted performances (see dates here)
- Royal School for the Deaf, Derby: Residential education for deaf children
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Deaf Independent: Deaf care and support services
- Performance Interpreting: BSL interpreting at concerts
- National Deaf Children's Society: The leading charity for deaf children
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people