Sackler suspends arts donations

Sackler suspends arts donations

The Sackler Trust has suspended “all new philanthropic giving” following a growing controversy over the source of its fortune.

Tate Modern overtakes British Museum as most popular

Tate Modern overtakes British Museum as most popular

Tate Modern has overtaken the British Museum as the most visited museum in Britain, according to the latest Art Newspaper annual list of the world’s most popular venues.

Moira Sinclair to chair Clore Leadership

Moira Sinclair to chair Clore Leadership

Clore Fellow Moira Sinclair, CEO of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, is the new chair of the Clore Leadership Programme.

£5m for new children’s arts programme

£5m for new children’s arts programme

A new £5m DCMS/Arts Council Youth Performance Partnership will benefit 10,000 young people, culture secretary Jeremy Wright has announced.

Tate latest to turn away from Sackler

Tate latest to turn away from Sackler

Tate has announced that it will accept no more gifts from the Sackler family charities, following the National Portrait Gallery’s decision this week to refuse a £1m gift.

Red House to merge with Snape

Red House to merge with Snape

The Britten-Pears Foundation created at the Red House, Aldeburgh, by the composer Benjamin Britten and the singer Peter Pears is to merge with Snape Maltings, the concert hall they founded in Suffolk.

TAITMAIL   Twinkling under the Stratford gloss

TAITMAIL Twinkling under the Stratford gloss

Post-Olympic Stratford is booming. The V&A, Sadler’s Wells, University College London and even the London College of Fashion are all settling in at the Olympic Park, or what Boris Johnson called Olympicopolis. It’s getting a £2.3bn international quarter for global corporations, the 34-storey Sky View Tower and the 14-storey City West Tower. Even the multi-storey car park by the station is to turn its top level over to a roof garden.

Dancing in the streets

Dancing in the streets

Behind the gloss of post-Olympic prosperity, the communities of Newham are still seriously challenged. For 30 years East London Dance has been lifting their hearts and aspirations and now, as it prepares for its third Ideas Summit, it is contemplating its own biggest step forward. Simon Tait talks to its director, Polly Risbridger

New team at Birmingham Rep

New team at Birmingham Rep

And a change at Sheffield’s industrial museums

Birmingham Repertory Theatre has chosen Sean Foley as its new artistic director.

MPs call for arts subjects on Ebacc

MPs call for arts subjects on Ebacc

Music education damaging talent pipeline, says committee

THE WORD    Art breaking the gender gap

THE WORD Art breaking the gender gap

Anita Choudhrie on why it is time for the gender imbalance in art to be evened up

NPG rejects £1m Sackler sponsorship

NPG rejects £1m Sackler sponsorship

The National Portrait Gallery has turned down £1m in sponsorship from the Sackler Trust because of the controversy over the drug OxyContin produced by the Sackler pharmaceutical company.

London puts culture on the map

London puts culture on the map

The capital’s cultural infrastructure from pubs to recording studios to libraries is being made on a free interactive online map https://www.london.gov.uk/cultural-infrastructure-map.

What's up in...   Norwich

What's up in... Norwich

AI looks at what's coming up around the country – this week, the arts in Norwich

London borough to give every under 11 free theatre trip

London borough to give every under 11 free theatre trip

Southwark scheme pledges £500,000.

2m teenagers to get new creative careers chance

2m teenagers to get new creative careers chance

A new programme devised by creative industries leaders is aimed at giving career chances to 2m youngsters.

Lost words carved in stone for posterity

Lost words carved in stone for posterity

Words from nature deleted from the Oxford Children’s Junior Dictionary are being immortalised by artists in an exhibition opening on Friday (March 15) at Snape Maltings Lettering Centre in Suffolk.

Wordsworth’s £6m birthday present

Wordsworth’s £6m birthday present

William Wordsworth’s 250th birthday in 2020 will see a £6.2m expansion of the museum devoted to him at his home village of Grasmere in Cumbria, the Wordsworth Trust has announced.

Central cleared of racism

Central cleared of racism

The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama – graded gold standard for its teaching, the highest achievable level - has been cleared of racism by rejecting quotas for black and mixed ethnic applicants.

All Leicester museums' curators to go in council cuts

All Leicester museums' curators to go in council cuts

All four posts go in cost-cutting review

Industry warning on school music

Industry warning on school music

Survey shows growing gap between state and private schools

Huckle’s new 1st City contemporary music role

Huckle’s new 1st City contemporary music role

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG) has appointed Seb Huckle to the new post of executive director.

£20.5m concert venue for Liverpool

£20.5m concert venue for Liverpool

The University of Liverpool is to build a new 400-seat concert hall, for students and public.

Maestra! Covent Garden boost for women conductors

Maestra! Covent Garden boost for women conductors

The Royal Opera has chosen International Women’s Day today to announce two new women conductors' courses.

My Story: Sign of the times

 

Deafinitely Theatre was founded 14 years ago to be a showcase for deaf talent, for hearing as well as deaf audiences. its artistic director is the actor and director Paula Garfield, who is herself deaf

What inspired you to create Deafinitely Theatre?
I was a freelance actor for ten years, working in community theatre, repertoire theatre and theatre in education. This was a great experience, but I felt there was lack of deaf-led theatre and empowerment for deaf actors. I wanted to create more opportunities and work for deaf people, without having to explain what deaf actors need; it would be provided for deaf actors automatically.

What do you feel it offers to the theatre community?
For the last 20 years, the number of deaf clubs has declined, leaving the deaf community with fewer places to go. I remember growing up watching drama competitions and performances within the deaf clubs. There have also been closures of deaf schools. Deafinitely Theatre doesn’t only provide signed performance and theatre, but is also a social event. The deaf community sees sign language as the centre of the stage.

Part of the company’s characteristic is that all performances are presented in British Sign Language (BSL). Is the understanding of BSL more widespread now than it was, and how do you avoid it interfering with the narrative of a drama?

Deaf directors don’t have the same privilege as hearing directors. This is because we have to think about creating something that is accessible to both deaf and hearing audiences. I want to build a bridge for the two audiences to enjoy the theatre together. 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents so I want to create something that the whole family can experience and enjoy. The understanding of BSL has improved over the years; it is more widespread as people are exposed to it through social media, e.g. Facebook and Twitter.

When devising a performance I have to think about accessibility for the hearing audience. When I choose a script I have to find one that I feel will adapt to BSL. It is difficult because you have to respect the writer, so I always work in a way that the hearing actor will fully voice the script and the deaf actor will sign in BSL. That way nothing is lost from the original script. Alternatively sometimes we use BSL with additional captions, so that again nothing is lost from the script.

How are you funded?

We are an NPO (national portfolio organisation). Our core funding is from the Arts Council, and we rely on individual trusts for some projects.

Is there enough official support for deaf performers, and how would you like to see it changed?
There is no training for deaf actors. Some deaf people do attend drama school, but that means that the person has to adapt to fit in. There are no specialised courses for deaf actors on how to translate material into BSL or VV (visual vernacular), or how to use sign language on the stage.

Where does you material come from – is it all original or do you also adapt existing work for your stage?

In our early work we devised from deaf stories; however, the problem with this is the difficulty in selling the play to an audience. A well-known writer and well-known play is much easier to sell. It was
a pleasure to do our early devised works, but now that we’re trying to breakthrough into mainstream theatre we have to choose more well- known scripts. Like I said earlier, we aim to keep the original meaning
of the scripts, but adapt to make it accessible with BSL.

How many productions do you present in a year?
We do one children’s production, one youth production and one main production per year.

You are based at Diorama Arts near Regents Park in London. Does this give you a public auditorium, and do you tour to other venues? 

We use Diorama Arts as an office space and rehearsal base, but we hire venues, mostly in London, for a production run. We are planning to start touring in a few years’ time.

Has the audience changed since you founded the company in 2002?
Back in the early days most of the audience were members of the deaf community, and for the last few years the number of deaf people in the audience has slightly decreased while the number of hearing people attending has increased. As a deaf director it is important for me to evaluate why this is happening and why the number of deaf people attending is less. It could be that the increase in ticket prices means people cannot afford to attend. I have noticed that it is a more educated middle class group of deaf people attending the shows. It is my aim to reach out to the grassroots deaf community - the theatre location and venue affects the audience, and for some it is too far or difficult to access.

What are your plans for 2016, and what is your next production?
We are planning to have our main production in the autumn of 2016. We have a youth production at the Tricycle Theatre as part of National Theatre Connections - we are keeping our fingers crossed and hoping to be chosen to perform at the National Theatre.

 

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