Deaf and hearing actors go to auditions and lots of hearing actors get the role as a deaf character - experience of colleagues receiving emails who are deaf saying they didn’t receive the role but a hearing person did, and requesting the deaf performer teachers the non deaf performer sign!

Films and tv always fast hearing actors with awful signing skills , hearing audience don’t identify that it is bad sign

What does the future look like? How do we change that? I

Steph: narratives and scripts always quite patronising to disabled roles and stereotyping

POV as a theatre director - is it permissible to use hearing actors who are fluent in BSL if their quality is high?

There is a question around who is setting the level for quality?

BSL can be both an access tool but an aesthetic. There is a theatre practice and approach where the whole wider community can have a larger dialogue about using BSL in theatre.

Why do deaf actors come second to using their own language?

It’s frustrating when a hearing person comes to an audition and they want to learn to sign and play the deaf character.

Jessie is doing her PHD in disability casting. During her research she’s found that there aren’t easy enough ways for people to find disabled people. There is a need to join together to say “hello! We’re here!”

There are not enough stories being told, there aren’t enough narratives about disabled and deaf life.

Is there something in performance training about this and this is where it starts? When performers are excited to portray “trauma” on stage.

There aren’t many role models for young disabled kids. If they look up and see non disabled actors in disabled roles.

As a hearing actor who signs level 6, it is our responsibility to say no to these roles. I grew up with BSL.

Producing houses are aware that it’s a hot topic and then when they take it further they back out when they realise how complicated that is.

This conversation has been happening for years.

We need to take the evidence, hard facts to large producing houses to show them the audience development, to show them how to do it.

The deaf clubs, the community spaces are closing down but there is a massive digital and social media network. In theatre you have to build up that trust with your community.

We think about access and funding etc and ticking a box but you need to start from the beginning and work with different types of people, it’s a different way of looking at things.

People perceive disability and deaf accessibility as an added thing. This is what needs to change. What can we create AROUND access rather then what is the impact if we add access?

Deaf actor representation - what is being portrayed by agents and on spotlight etc?

There’s not much representation for deaf actors. There’s more to be done around communicating about deaf actors.

There’s more to a deaf character than deafness and there’s no reason that characters can’t be deaf on stage other than if it’s specifically been written in that they are hearing.

Royal conservatoire have bi-lingual studies.