Doing games that explore non verbal communication
From the beginning everyone taking active role in working with others where communication will be different.
Involved everyone including interpreters, stage manager (anyone in room) in introductory games, exercises and warm ups when possible but also ensuring interpreting needs are met.
The balance in the room on the first day was more people in the room who could communicate using BSL than those who could only communicate through spoken word. This created an interesting dynamic.
Introduce BSL fingerspelling to company members completely new to BSL- I personally have found that that this can be useful in needing to clarify or sometimes check that you have understood something but actually it was communicated by British Sign Language (BSL) users in the room that it was not 'important' and that it wasn't really used that much.
Took themes from the play and asked company to share stories about journey to work, recent and past summer holidays. There were conversations happening in BSL to BSL, BSL through interpreter (voiced over) to hearing company members and English speaking performers to BSL (through BSL interpretation) as well as English speaking performers using mime/gestures to describe stories without interpretation and of course English to English.
Beginning to understand the focus and energy it takes to work in a very physical/visual language at the same time as a verbal language and the fact that it is a process of working bi-lingually.
What does it feel like working with BSL interpreters?
Can create lack of direct eye contact between the two people having a conversation/acting/working together. As deaf performer mainly has to look at interpreter and hearing performer is looking at deaf performer.Further questions on intonation and how that is captured through interpreter and how to develop connection, opportunities for eye contact between performers.
BSL interpreters had experience of working with each other - this did feel important, you felt that there was a shared understanding between them and good and healthy working relationship.
One BSL interpreter had some experience of working with one of the actors - again this felt important in relation to trust built around how and when to interpret, some conversations being private and getting right tone of interpretation.
Exploring line between professional job of interpreting for people in the room and being part of the ensemble
Interpreters came recommended from BSL Advisor and from deaf performer. Due to their working experience and the importance of having an interpreter with theatre experience. In relation to theatrical language that you may talk in.
What does a first day of R & D with hearing and/BSL performers with hearing/spoken word performers on Girls and Dolls feel like?
(Comments from the company)
With promise, potential