The Technical Theatre BSL (British Sign Language) Project aims to promote technical theatre for Deaf people. We do this through exploring and translating technical theatre words and jargon into BSL. This in turn will provide greater access for Deaf people to training and employment in technical theatre.
Below you will see a short film which I hope will give you a flavour of our initial research and development project – who we are and what we did during the period 22nd-25th October 2012.
Hi, I’m Alison Pottinger. I work as an interpreter and Stage Manager and these two areas cross over frequently. However, as an interpreter it seemed to me that there were not many sign translations of technical theatre terms, so I wondered if anything might be done about this.
In August 2011 I emailed many Deaf and hearing friends and colleagues in the theatre, education and interpreting worlds to ask if they thought a glossary of technical theatre terms translated into BSL would be a good idea. Well, the response was an overwhelming -YES!!
So I set about developing a translation project and fundraising for it. We were rewarded in September 2012 with a grant from Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts scheme.
Then in June 2015 we were awarded a further grant, again from Arts Council England – to extend the project and explore the best ways to encourage young Deaf people to think about technical theatre as a career.
I am very grateful for the support of so many Deaf and hearing colleagues, theatre companies, professional organisations and educational establishments; and not least the Arts Council England for their continuing support.
Watch this space as the project develops and grows. Hopefully we will be ushering in a new generation of talented Deaf people to the backstage world!