Deaf Awareness Week 2021

This year we are celebrating D/deaf and Hard of Hearing theatremakers and creators, sharing resources and looking back at some past Ovalhouse productions.

NEW! Video Q&A with artist Sahera Khan, Steven Vevers-Webb of D-Live! talks about running a Deaf theatre company and we look back on some past productions.

Sahera Khan answers your questions. Transcript available below.

Sahera Khan is a Deaf Muslim artist, actor, writer, filmmaker, YouTuber, mother, sister, wife, aunty and friend. she tells us a bit about her work and practice and answers your questions on life as a Deaf creative. Find out more about Sahera and her work here: https://linktr.ee/Sahera04. You can download a full transcript by clicking the black button on the right 👇🏾

BSL is vital for everyone, especially D/deaf children, not just because of deafness. The language is rich, visual, has its own unique vocabulary, construction and grammar.

Throwback Thursday: Theatre by D/deaf artists at Ovalhouse

Two blonde women in conversation, one standing, one seated in a wheelchair.
Rachel Bagshaw directs Sophie Woolley in Augmented rehearsals. Ovalhouse 2018. © Craig Fuller

AUGMENTED by Sophie Woolley was a FiRST BiTE (affordable work in progress) in Summer 2018. Sophie shares her experiences of going profoundly deaf and then becoming a self-declared cyborg with a cochlear implant. The procedure features in new film The Sound of Metal and Sophie’s humorous and honest play gives the audience a first-hand insight into the joy and conflict of losing and regaining hearing as a member of the D/deaf community. Augmented was due to tour in 2020 and will be in theatres across the country soon! Read more about the development of the show here.

Sophie Woolley and Adrienne Quartly record sound for Augmented FiRST BiTE. Ovalhouse 2018. © Craig Fuller

Jack O’Kent was an experimental FiRST BiTE premiered by Deaf theatre company D-Live!, integrating digital technology and boundary-pushing projection with their distinctive Visual Vernacular performance style.

Jack O’Kent promotional image

Torque by Rebecca Hill was developed at Bush Theatre in 2013 and received the Arts Manifesto: A Future for the Arts award award from Ovalhouse. Produced by Unbound Productions, it told the story of a mixed Deaf/hearing couple and was performed in BSL and spoken English with no translations. Torque was supported in further R&D at Mercury Theatre Colchester in 2018-19.


In January 2009 Deafinitely Theatre showcased eight short works in progress by Deaf theatremakers in their creative development programme and previewed new show Double Sentence, which focused on a Deaf BSL users experience of incarceration. Sahera Khan (featured on our YouTube channel) is currently working on a new play about Deaf women in the justice system.


Chisato Minamimura chose Ovalhouse as one of the international venues for her performance documentary Scored In Silence, performed in sign mime with 3D projected animation and film. The 40 minute solo show used cutting edge digital technology to tell the stories of Deaf survivors of the atom bomb in Hiroshima, including revolutionary Woojer© straps which allow D/deaf and Hard or Hearing audience members to feel the sound composition through vibration. Chisato’s work has been adapted for online performance during the last year.*

* Scored in Silence was an independent production


Steven Vevers-Webb on Deaf-led theatre companies

Steven Vevers-Webb, co-founder and Artistic Director of D-Live! and a former founder of Deafinitely Theatre took a few minutes to tell us about his experiences leading a Deaf theatre company and some of the challenges and experiences of making work as a Deaf artist in a hearing industry.

FIND D-LIVE! on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Vimeo.


Want to win a paid feature on Brixton House social media? Read on! Entries will be shared on Brixton House Instagram and we’ll post a compilation on our YouTube channel.

SIGN IN TO BRIXTON HOUSE!

We want your hot takes – literally. Send us a 15-30 second video of you introducing Brixton House and telling us one thing you’re most looking forward to when we open. Your video can use any form of communication except voice. BSL strongly encouraged! All entries will be featured on our social media so please keep it family friendly. The winner will be commissioned for a feature on the Brixton House channels later in the year (paid). This competition is for D/deaf and Hard of Hearing creators and artists only.

Terms and Conditions – Submission Deadline: Sunday 6th May 2021, 23:59. All entrants should be D/deaf or Hard of Hearing. Video must be minimum 15 seconds and maximum 30 seconds, in MP4 format, and cannot include any copyrighted material unless you own the rights. By entering you agree to the unlimited use of your clip by Brixton House for social media and website sharing (data protection rights still apply.) Submit as an MP4 email attachment or link to WeTransfer or Dropbox. Please include a transcript of any BSL or SSE dialogue your video content as a Word document to facilitate accurate captioning. One winner will be selected for a paid video commission later in the year, full terms negotiable, fee will be at least Equity minimum. UK residents only.

Entries and questions should be sent to hello@brixtonhouse.co.uk or DM us on Instagram!


FURTHER READING: We Need To Talk About Racism In The UK Deaf Community via Gal-Dem
FURTHER VIEWING: If you fancy a giggle we recommend Sophie Woolley’s Deaf Faker series or for a musical moment try Follow the Signs by Chris Fonseca and Harry Jardine.

Thank you to all our contributors:

Sahera Kahn (Silent Muslimah)
Jenny Sealey (Patron of Brixton House and AD of Graeae Theatre)
Steven Vevers-Webb (Co-founder and AD of D-Live!)

Share your #DeafAwarenessWeek videos and resources with us @BrxHouseTheatre using the hashtag and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.


Our Patron Jenny Sealey introduces Deaf Awareness Week 2021.

VIDEO DESCRIPTION: Jenny Sealey, a grey-haired white woman, is wearing a dark blue, long-sleeved dress with puffed sleeves, a silver chain necklace and glasses on top of her head. She is standing in a white painted living room near a window with sunlight shining in. Jenny is speaking and signing in BSL directly to camera She has a warm smile and sparkling eyes.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:
Welcome to Brixton House Deaf Awareness Week
I’m Jenny. I’m the Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre and a very very proud Patron of Brixton House.
For Deaf Awareness Week we are having a retrospective of the many, many productions and events created by Deaf and Hard of Hearing theatremakers.
Also there’s an opportunity for a paid feature!
If you have a useful resource or a short film or video that you want to have included please let Brixton House know.
And happy Deaf Awareness Week!