Finding new ways to help deaf young people access Shakespeare

We have been exploring how rehearsal room techniques can help deaf young people understand and enjoy Shakespeare, with the University of Birmingham.

Focusing on the first act of Macbeth, we have developed a range of resources and activities that use rehearsal room techniques to support deaf young people as they study the play. Students have access to specially created films using deaf actors and are encouraged to find physical ways to approach and explore the language.

The project is part of our five-year collaboration with the University of Birmingham, to provide training and learning opportunities at The Other Place.

We presented the findings of our work at a meeting of the British Association of Teachers of the Deaf last month, with an article to follow in their journal this autumn.

Over time, we aim to create a package of useful resources to cover the whole of Macbeth, before moving on to other commonly studied texts.

Claire Edwards

This work forms part of our focus on making Shakespeare and the theatre accessible for all, which includes:

  • Hosting a range of accessible performances in all our theatres
  • Making priority seating available to suit patrons' needs
  • Having audio enhancement fitted in all our theatres and many of our open areas
  • Providing audio-described tours and BSL-interpreted exhibits as part of The Play's The Thing

You can find out more about this work on our Access pages.

 

The RSC Access programme is supported by Virgin Media as part of its commitment to transform lives through digital technology, ensuring everyone has access to theatre.