Deafinitely Theatre have announced the creation of The Hub – a new theatre training course for emerging deaf artists to gain structured, accessible, professional theatre training, with the aim of equipping participants for mainstream arts employment. The Hub will launch its inaugural year in September 2018.
The year-long programme, which has been developed and expanded from a previous pilot scheme, includes a variety of workshops in acting, writing and other aspects of the theatre industry, including stage management, through its Industry Insights workshops. The Hub will also provide two year-long one-to-one mentorship schemes as well as a series of networking events and other opportunities throughout the year. Interpreter and caption support will be offered across the whole programme.
Following the programme Deafinitely Theatre continues its long-term commitment to supporting deaf artists across the industry, inviting participants to apply for paid internships and acting roles with the company.
Paula Garfield, Artistic Director of Deafinitely Theatre said today, “For the last few years, it has been amazing to see more and more mainstream theatre companies hire deaf actors, yet while it’s an exciting time for deaf actors to work in high-profile companies – a vital opportunity for them to learn their craft from other trained actors and from mainstream directors and creative teams – we do need deaf actors and theatre makers to have accessible opportunities to drama training.
Sadly, currently no drama school in London is fully accessible to deaf BSL users. There is only one specific course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. We need to see more like this all over the UK and so we are delighted to announce today our new project, the Hub. It is specifically aimed at deaf adults who have no other opportunities to train in theatre practices and learn their craft. There is proof that there is currently high demand in the industry for deaf actors and theatre makers and it is essential they have the same access to training so they are ready to start out in their chosen theatre careers. The long-term aim for the Hub is to establish tailor-made, full-time drama courses accessible for both deaf and hearing.
We are so excited that the Hub will be this first step, a multi-year course of training available to deaf adults wanting to learn theatre practices here in London. I am delighted that we have wonderful partners on board supporting us with this project. Thank you to Arts Council, England, without their generous funding this would not be possible. Thank you also to our partners – City Lit (City Literary Institute), RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) and the Royal Court Theatre – who are helping us to curate and design an incredible activity full of exciting opportunities for the participants. I am grateful to these partners for being willing to work with us here at Deafinitely to create and build more opportunities for the deaf community, enabling us to be more creative within the arts.”
Membership is £5 and participants will receive their first workshop free as well as a discount on subsequent classes. Further benefits include free tickets to theatre shows, invites to networking events and the opportunity to take part in the showcase.
A taster day for prospective members will take place on Saturday 14 July at RADA. Further details about this and information on how to become a Hub member will be available at www.deafinitelytheatre.co.uk from next month.
Deafinitely Theatre is partnering with RADA, the Royal Court Theatre and City Lit in support of the Hub.