We believe accessible theatre should still be exceptional theatre.
We are very serious about play, and we want everyone to be able to play along. So we like to get imaginative about making theatre accessible for all audiences. These productions and projects highlight some of the ways we've gone about experimenting with access.
Dundee Rep’s Community Company is a fully inclusive company offering the highest quality artistic experience for adults, with a focus on access for individuals who identify as deaf or disabled. The company is open to anyone aged 25 and above with our oldest actor 83 years of age. Address to a Liar is written and directed by Poorboy Artistic Director Sandy Thomson. The performance will feature fully integrated British Sign Language with research into integrated audio description for actors and audiences with visual impairments included in the process. A high contrast color design and The 'faceboxes' that were created during the Grist to the Mill research will also feature.
Poorboy's two week creative research project in conjunction with Artlink as well as audience members who were partially sighted or blind. The ensemble collaborated with design student, Amy Lowe, to find best practices for access work. Lowe designed faceboxes: plaster casts of the actor's faces that audiences could feel before the show while listening to the actor describe themselves in character on a prerecorded device. This allowed audiences with sight impairments an extra level of depth into the character they were hearing onstage. The full research findings are being released in a documentary style film in 2016.
The show has been specially written to be self audio described, making it ideal for audience members who are partially sighted or blind. A BSL interpreter is available by way of a hand held tablet. The filmed interpreter aligns itself with images shown on the performers iPhone so that touring show can be accessible to audiences where a live interpreter is unavailable.
A site-spefic promenade through Greyfriar's Kirk graveyard, the streets of Edinburgh and Sandy Bell's pub. In collaboration with Artlink, this playful wander was designed for all audiences, specifically for those who are blind or partially sighted. The show included playful audio description as well as a food truck where the audiences were fed by the cooking character. The food was free of all major allergens and the recipes were made available via youtube with an audio narration for audiences to re-create at home. The journey also ensured accessibility for wheelchairs.
The audio journey was created to stand alone as a piece of audio narration for audiences who are blind or partially sighted, as well as audiences who are unable to travel. A second installment of the piece was created with Artlink and used smell pots to launch a seated audience into various parts of the city and story.
Devised by the Poorboy Ensemble and members of the Deaf Hearing Ensemble, British Sign Language was implemented character wide throughout the story. An interpreter was also featured within the narrative as part of the story world. The show was also financially accessible, offering a 'pay what you can' ticketing system that allowed the production to be available to audiences of all financial situations.
The show featured live music and character narration that was found to be very suitable for audiences who identify as blind and partially sighted. The buildings in which the show performed all were wheelchair accessible.