Over the past year Red Earth Theatre has been working with Deaf and hearing children and adults to investigate the best way of captioning our shows. The Trustees of the Boshier-Hinton Foundation have generously supported this work.
Because of their funding we have been able to consult over 150 primary and secondary school children in the Midlands to find out what they think of captioning for theatre.
We talked to Teachers of the Deaf at primary and secondary level and took their advice on different ways of presenting the captions.
Children watched professional actors perform scenes from our current touring show – The Remarkable Tale of Oliver Twist – with captions presented in different formats. Their responses to these workshops have directly influenced the way the captions are presented in the production.
Because of the support from the Boshier-Hinton Foundation, we have been able to take our research live in our sign integrated and fully captioned adaptation of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, which is richer in access provision and aesthetic presentation.
Already, feedback from Deaf, deafened and hard of hearing children, young people and adult audience members demonstrates that the work Boshier Hinton funded has been invaluable and has provided greater levels of access to our theatre for both signer and non-signers.