NYC’s Department of Cultural Affairs has announced grants to Signature Theatre Company, TDF, IRT Theater, and A.R.T./New York for their work with the Deaf community.
Four of the 36 programs funded by CreateNYC Language Access Fund were selected for their inclusion of American Sign Language in the theatre.
Signature Theatre Company will pilot an American Sign Language program (in partnership with the service organization Hands On) during a performance of Anna Deavere Smith’s Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, which will allow Signature to explore the creation of a larger sign language interpretation program.
Theatre Development Fund, as part of its TDF Accessibility Program for Students, will offer six American Sign Language–interpreted Broadway matinee performances for young people whose primary means of communication is signing. The project also includes in-class workshops by trained teaching artists.
IRT Theater will launch the Westside Experiment, an annual two-week summer program for middle- and high-school deaf and hard-of-hearing students. The theatre company will also produce Daniel Irizarry’s YOVO, performed simultaneously in Spanish and American Sign Language. The production begins January 10.
A.R.T./New York will create the Advanced Theatrical ASL Interpreters program to prepare qualified signers for a career in theater-specific interpretation.
In addition, several grants issued last year to IRT, New York Deaf Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, and Roundabout Theatre through the CreateNYC Disability Forward Fund were renewed to continue work on existing and new projects.