In preparation for the production of Mountain Language and Landscape In Tandem TC ran a two week workshop comparing the differences in expression between British Sign Language (BSL) and spoken English and looking at how the BSL translation of the Pinter text might be achieved. I worked with 3 Deaf and 2 hearing actors who had varying levels of BSL and English skills. I chose to work without an Sign Language Interpreter to make me struggle in my communication with the group (I had minimal BSL) as a means to help develop my understanding of a Deaf world perspective.
Below is an extract from the workshop. Here we were looking at the difference between spoken English interpretation of performances in BSL and BSL interpretation of performances in spoken English. At first you will see the Deaf actors working in BSL leading the acting with the hearing actors ‘interpreting’ their performance. After a time they swap and the hearing actors take up the acting lead with the Deaf actors ‘interpreting’.
Actors: Ilan Dwek, Caroline Parker, Amit Sharma, Jeni Draper
Workshop leader: Jessica Higgs
Also participating in the workshop: Jason Taylor
Date: April 2004
Funding: Arts Council London
Producer: In Tandem TC