We've just launched our two year project to research theatre interpreting, and to write a book on the subject. Find out more at terptheatre.com/book.
Imagine going to a foreign film – the kind with sub-titles at the bottom of the screen. But this time, those subtitles are not in front of you – they’re projected on the wall to your right. You have to turn your head away from the picture to read the dialogue. Frustrating, right?
That’s what many Deaf theatre patrons experience when they attend live theatre with sign language interpreters placed off to the side of the stage. They can see the dialogue, or they can watch the action on stage – but they can’t usually see both (even in special seating sections).
TerpTheatre’s team of sign language interpreters specialize in Shadowing – instead of interpreting off to the side of the stage, they’re included on-stage and move throughout the actors. The interpreters are costumed, and blend into the cast. The result? They become part of the stage picture. Deaf patrons are able to truly enjoy the performance, and many hearing people report finding shadowing less distracting than when interpreters appear off to the side, or in the audience. When interpreters are “part of the show,” everyone can enjoy the performance at the same time.
Watch a reaction to
an interpreted performance of Bells Are Ringing.
Watch TerpTheatre on A Closer Look.
Click above to watch the video with captions.