Make It Accessible

ARTISTS MAKING ACCESSIBLE PERFORMANCE: A WORKING GROUP

Next meeting: Thursday 28 May, 2pm – 4pm – see below for details

ABOUT

Are you interested in making accessible theatre? Can we help?

This is a difficult time for everyone, but we want to use this moment to think about what we want the future of Scottish theatre to look like.

We want to talk about why you are interested in making accessible work and what you think are the barriers to doing so. Whether you’re interested in creating more accessible performances, events or projects, we want to hear from you. We want to support you to come together and move forward in making accessible theatre.

This working group is for theatre makers in Scotland who have an interest in creating accessible work, whether you’re an artist, actor, dancer, director, producer, writer, choreographer or designer. All levels of experience are welcome.

The working group is facillitated by BOP and Andy Edwards, Andy is a theatre-maker, playwright and dramaturg whose recent work includes “In Burrows” – an improvised duet with Sign Language Interpreter Amy Cheskin.


UP NEXT – MAKE IT ACCESSIBLE #2: CASE STUDIES

Following Make It Accessible #1, the first meeting of our working group, we have invited four arts practitioners to present case studies about accessibility within their work. These case studies will consider a range of topics, from the integration of access within performance to the accessibility of entire festivals. 

Make It Accessible #1 taught us that there are lots of people interested in making accessible work – and lots of people doing it already. This is a difficult time for everyone, but we want to use this moment to share our knowledge, experience and practice with each other.

This meeting is for anyone with an interest in creating accessible work. All levels of experience are welcome. You do not need to have attended last month’s session to join us.

To take part, follow the link below on THURSDAY 28th MAY at 2PM. The group will run from 2PM – 4PM.

Attendance is free and unticketed but please confirm your attendance to callum@boptheatre.co.uk so we have an idea of numbers.

Agenda

14:00: Introductions & Re-cap last session: Welcome to session & introduce house rules. (5 mins)

14:05: Case Study 1: ‘Off-Kilter’ with Andy Arnold (Tron Theatre) & Ramesh Meyyappan (10 mins)

14:15: Q&A with Andy & Ramesh (15 mins)

14:30: Case Study 2: ‘Sherlock’ with Alyson Woodhouse (10 mins)

14:40: Q&A with Alyson (15 mins)

14:55: Tea Break (10 mins)

15:05: Case Study 3: ‘In Burrows’ with Andy Edwards & Amy Cheskin (10 mins)

15:15: Q&A with Andy & Amy (15 mins)

15:30: Case Study 4: ‘Arika‘ with Bryony McIntrye (10 mins)

15:40: Q&A with Bryony (15 mins)

15:55: Wrap up
        – Ask for suggestions for future sessions
        – Direct people to Google Questionnaire Feedback Form
        – Any supplementary information on case studies will be made available.

16:00: End

Information on Contributors:

Andy & Ramesh – ‘Off-kilter’

Ramesh Meyyappan is a theatre maker who develops performances using an eclectic mix of visual and physical theatre styles.  Andy Arnold is Artistic Director of Tron Theatre and was previously the Founder and Artistic Director of The Arches.  He likes to direct an eclectic range of work. Andy and Ramesh will discuss visual work they have made and plan to make and how they have formed a way of making theatre together on stage.

Alyson – ‘Sherlock’

Alyson Woodhouse is a blind, freelance director and dramaturg with particular interest and experience in adapting classic texts to make them accessible for blind and deaf audiences. Through sharing her experiences of adapting a Sherlock Holmes short story, Alyson will explore methods of including Audio Description and BSL into the narrative of a text.

Andy & Amy – ‘In Burrows’

Andy Edwards is a playwright and theatre-maker who makes work about language. Amy Cheskin is a sign-language interpreter with experience in interpretation for stage. Andy & Amy will discuss their experiences of working together, and what they’ve learned from their approach to integrating BSL interpretation within improvised performance.

Bryony McIntyre – ‘Arika’

Bryony McIntyre is a member of Arika a political arts organisation concerned with celebrating and supporting connections between artistic production and social change. Bryony will give a short presentation looking at access methods and interventions Arika have experimented with since their Episode 7: We Can’t Live Without Our Lives event at Tramway in 2015. 

(Left – Right) Ramesh Meyyappan in Off Kilter, image by Niall Walker / Amy Cheskin and Andy Edwards in In Burrows, image Julia Bauer / Bryony McIntyre


HOW TO JOIN A MEETING

We will host the meeting via a video chat client called Zoom, to join the call you may have to download the app onto your phone, tablet or computer.

We understand that some people who are interested in this subject will not be able to attend the meeting for various reasons. If this is the case, please email Callum at callum@boptheatre.co.uk and you can be added to the mailing list to receive any notes that arise.

This meeting will be made accessible through British Sign Language (by Natalie MacDonald) and captioning. If you require these services please email all@boptheatre.co.uk or indicate this on the Facebook event page to confirm and we will send instructions.

ACCESS INFORMATION

For BSL select ‘Natalie’ as your ‘pinned speaker.’ To select someone as your pinned speaker:

  • 1. Hover over the video you want to pin and click the icon with three dots ‘…’
  • 2. From the menu, choose ‘Pin Video’.
  • 3. To unpin click ‘Switch to Active Speaker’ in the upper left of screen.

For Captions – these will be provided by a third party website. Please click on this link prior to the meeting, this will bring up the page where the captions will appear once the meeting begins.

You will need to arrange the captions window and the Zoom window on a way on your device where you are able to access both. The reason for doing it this way is because the captions function within Zoom has a considerable lag to the point where it is not accessible.


Frequently Asked Questions

Who is this group for?

This group is for theatre makers in Scotland (and beyond) who have an interest in creating accessible work. Whether you’re an artist, actor, dancer, director, producer, writer, choreographer or designer, we want to hear from you.

Can I join in if I’ve never made accessible theatre before?

Absolutely, you’re an important part of this conversation. By running this working group, we want to find out how we can support you to make accessible work in the future.

What if I can’t be there for the whole two hours?

We all have different schedules and responsibilities, so you can still take part if you’re not able to be there for the whole two hours. There will be an agenda, see below, and we’ll take a 10-minute break around 3pm, so you could always join us for the first or second hour. In any case, we’ll make sure you’re properly welcomed, whenever you can make it.

Will the meeting be BSL interpreted or captioned?

Yes, but please email all@boptheatre.co.uk by 10am on Thursday 28th May if you require BSL interpretation or captioning. 

What are we going to talk about?

There will be four 10-15 minute presentations, each followed by a 10-15 minutes Q&A. 

The full agenda will be made available to everyone in the group and we’ll introduce it at the start of our conversation.

What is the Raise Hand feature in Zoom? How do I use it?

The Raise Hand feature is a digital version of raising your hand. We like using it because it allows us to easily track who has their hand up. It’s also easier on your arms. To use it during the meeting:
1. Click on the icon labeled “Participants” at the bottom center of your screen.
2. At the bottom of the window on the right side of the screen, click the button labeled “Raise Hand.”

What if the Raise Hand feature doesn’t work for me?

Don’t worry – just stick your hand up and we’ll make sure to come back to you.

I’m working on my own project and I’m looking for advice. Can I talk about this during the group?

We absolutely want to hear about what you’re working on but there won’t be time for 1-to-1 consultation about projects. However, if questions do come up during the course of the working group then we’re happy to discuss them. We don’t have all the answers, but we can try and figure it out together.

What if these presentations are not relevant to my work?

Let us know what is. We want to hear from you. If you have an idea to present on a project of your own, or would like to hear from someone else about a subject you’re interested in, then email Andy on edwards.andrewneil@gmail.com


Rules of Engagement (please read before joining the meeting)

Welcome to the Artists Making Accessible Theatre working group!

  • For captions click CC at the bottom of the Zoom window – you can change font size to suit your needs.
  • For BSL select ‘Natalie MacDonald’ as your ‘pinned speaker.’
  • If you have a question but don’t want to ask it during a conversation then please write it in the chat, prefaced by the letter ‘Q.’ e.g. Q. How much do BSL interpreters cost? We will try to return to all your questions before the meeting ends.
  • We’ll take questions at the end of each presentation, not during.
  • If you want to say something use Zoom’s “Raise Hand” function to get our attention.
  • If you have a question but would prefer us to answer it via email, please tell us in the chat or email your question to all@boptheatre.co.uk
  • A transcript of this conversation will be made available to those who can’t attend. If you would prefer your contributions to be redacted, please let us know via email. 


Meeting links will be added 5 mins before each meeting. You will be prompted to “sign in for the meeting”

👉 MEETING LINK 👈


Find out more about previous meetings:

Make it Accessible #1: April 24

This conversation was hosted by Birds of Paradise and facilitated by Andy Edwards.

AGENDA

2.00 PM : Introductions (10 mins)

  • Welcome to session + introduce house rules. *Everyone Together*
  • Introduction from Birds of Paradise, explaining their intention in hosting this conversation and their motivation for inviting Andy to facilitate it.

2.10 PM : Part One: How do you make accessible work? (40 mins)

  • Question 1: Who are you? What work do you make?
  • Question 2: What does making “accessible theatre” mean to you, and to your practice?

*Breakout to discuss Q1 + Q2*
*Come back together to feed back from both groups + introduce Q3* 

  • Question 3: How would – or does – a more inclusive approach change the way you work? (in logistical, financial, creative, production terms)

*Breakout to discuss Q3*

2.50 PM : Tea Break (10 mins)

3.00 PM : Part Two: How can we support your practice? (40 mins) *Everyone Together; briefly summarise and introduce Q1*

  • Question 1: What barriers do you encounter when making accessible work? Are they practical, financial, creative, societal?  *Breakout to discuss Q1* 
  • Question 2: What support do you need to overcome these barriers? How can Birds of Paradise help? *Feedback both groups together and discuss Q2 as one (it might make sense to set Future Actions before rounding up with Q3?)*
  • Question 3: What’s missing from this conversation? If we were to meet again, what needs to be discussed? *This could be directed into the post-conversation questionnaire, if there are a number of outstanding Questions in the chat?*

3.40 PM : Set Future Actions (10 mins) *Everyone Together*

  • Based on the discussion, BOP / Andy will write a list of potential future actions to support artists making accessible work. This will be shared with the group following the end-of-session.

3.50 PM : Wrap-up (10 mins) *Everyone Together*

  • Thank people for taking part.
  • Direct people to Google Questionnaire Feedback Form, which contains further opportunity to offer thoughts and opinions.
  • Supplementary information on accessible theatre-making will be made available.

Read a summary of the key points from the meeting:


Read a transcript of the whole meeting: