The Theatre Development Fund (TDF) and the Juilliard School have teamed to present a one-week institute for theatrical sign interpreters from around the world. The program, titled "Interpreting for the Theatre," will be presented June 5-10.
TDF says that several graduates of the program, which is designed to make theatre accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing, plan to make their Broadway debuts at the June 9 performance of Jekyll & Hyde.
Production notes describe "Interpreting For The Theatre" as a one-week intensive institute for sign language interpreters from June 5-10. The annual program, begun in 1998, offers experience in theatre interpreting and the chance to explore advanced techniques for signing plays and musicals.
Classes will be taught by "New York's top theatre interpreters, with involvement from members of the deaf community throughout the week." "We have the opportunity to help raise the national standard for theatre sign language interpretation," says TDF's Theatre Access Project director, Lisa Carling. "The program not only benefits interpreters who come to study the art of theatre sign interpretation by the masters of the craft, but more importantly ensures a more professional quality of interpreting for audience members who are deaf."
The areas of study will include: performance, taught by Alan Champion and Candace Broecker-Penn; translation, taught by Stephanie Feyne and Lynnette Taylor; body work by Alexander Technique expert Lauren Schiff; and contribution of deaf professionals, which will draw upon deaf professionals in the tri-State area who have contributed to the field of sign language interpretation for the theatre. The student body in the international program comprises 17 students from the US, Canada and Holland who were accepted into this year's institute through a videotaped audition. Several of these participants interpret for Broadway road shows and regional theatre companies.
TDF's Theatre Access Project (TAP) was established in 1979 to provide access to the performing arts for people with physical disabilities.
-- By Murdoch McBride