Deafinitely Theatre, led by Artistic Director Paula Garfield, today announce the full line-up for their 20th Anniversary Season.
First in the line-up is James Baldwin’s innovative new show, staged on board a bus, Getting There, produced by Toucan Theatre and Oxford Playhouse, in association with Deafinitely Theatre and Be Free Young Carers. Getting There explores life as a young carer, giving voice to the stories of young people in Oxfordshire and the contributions they make to their families, schools, and local communities, and tour secondary schools in Oxfordshire from Monday 21 March until Friday 1 April.
This is followed by the world première of Everyday, written and directed by Paula Garfield, a new play written and directed by Garfield based on interviews conducted with deaf women and non-binary people who have survived domestic abuse. The company today announce the UK tour and full cast: Fifi Garfield, Kelsey Gordon, Zoë McWhinney and Bea Webster. The production, in BSL and spoken English for a deaf and hearing audience, commissioned by New Diorama Theatre, opens at the venue on 20 May, with previews from 16 May, and runs until 11 June, ahead of a national tour visiting Birmingham Rep (16-18 June) and York Theatre Royal (21-22 June) before culminating at Northern Stage (24-25 June).
Joining the previously announced Talking Hands short films, in association with Paines Plough, about the deaf experience of the Coronavirus pandemic, I Still Blame Myself by Lianne Herbert, starring Kelsey Gordon; Keeping Hope by Melissa Mostyn starring Nadia Nadarajah; and Lockdown Hairy written and performed by EJ Raymond are Life, It Goes On by Abigail Gorman, starring Bea Webster and The Woman I Am written and performed by Samantha Pearsall, which will be released in the summer, to complete the series of five short films.
Life, It Goes On and The Woman I Am will be available alongside the previously released Talking Hands films at www.deafinitelytheatre.co.uk/talking-hands.
The UK’s first deaf led and launched theatre company, Deafinitely Theatre is a field leader in the promotion of deaf-led theatre, with a creative programme that reaches over 3,700 people each year. Since the company was founded in 2002, it has created 44 compelling productions including the first ever British Sign Language Shakespeare play at Shakespeare’s Globe, Love’s Labour’s Lost, and the 2018 Off West End Award for Best Production winner, Contractions, the site-specific production by Mike Bartlett.
Deafinitely’s Youth Theatre programme remains an encouraging and fully accessible space for young people aged 14 – 21 to work with deaf industry leaders. Our alumni have since gone on to perform on world renowned stages such as the National Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe, as well as, raising the national conversation through TV and entertainment roles, recently including ITV’s award-winning series The Bay, and winning Strictly Come Dancing 2021. We continue to invest in the UK’s next generation of deaf talent by establishing England’s first fully accessible training programme, HUB, which has benefitted 267 emerging deaf theatre professionals to date.
Paula Garfield, Artistic Director of Deafinitely Theatre, said today: “We are so proud and excited about the forthcoming 20th anniversary year for Deafinitely Theatre. From our collaboration in Oxford on a bus with Getting There to our main production of Everyday at the New Diorama Theatre in May and on tour across the UK in June. We’re so thrilled to be breaking down taboos and stereotypes of deaf people and showing what we can achieve and what makes up our rich and diverse deaf community in 2022 and beyond. We’re so pleased to be working with more deaf writers, particularly on our short films – Talking Hands – which are giving a voice to members of the deaf community from a range of backgrounds – LGBTQIA+, non-binary and others. We are thrilled that our 20th anniversary season will be celebrating stories by a diverse range of deaf writers and getting their voices on stage and on screen makes me so proud to celebrate our 20th anniversary and look forward to what we can create in the future.”