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Mon 24 May 2021 - Mon 25 Oct 2021

Where are all the Deaf playwrights? – for emerging playwrights, playwrights with projects to promote, audiences who want to support new playwrights

If you are Deaf or use BSL and you love theatre, make yourself a coffee and log on!


In August, Emily Howlett joined the chat thinking about Bringing Sign Onstage as we discussed all the different ways BSL can be integrated into a production, for the whole run or a one-off show. What works for you?


In September we ask, where are all the Deaf playwrights? The perfect discussion for emerging playwrights, those with a project to promote, and audiences who want to support new writers, Paula Garfield will join us to talk about nurturing Deaf, deaf and hard of hearing creatives putting pen to paper.


In October, Jenny Sealey will join us with returning guests Emily Howlett and Paula Garfield to talk about Developing Deaf Directors. Have you ever wondered how do Deaf, deaf and hard of hearing directors get started in the industry? What works best in the rehearsal room? 


Whether you’re happiest on stage, in the wings or in the audience, come and be part of the conversation about the past, present and future of theatre made by and for Deaf people.


The Watermill Theatre is excited to host this event giving our Deaf creatives and audiences the chance to shape what we offer in the future. The conversation will be led by Annie Harris, one of our Deaf facilitators, with interpreters Ana Becker, Kim Helman and Paul Mancini on hand to support communication. 



Suitable for 16+ to adults who are Deaf, hard of hearing and allies.

No experience necessary.

Date: Fourth Monday of every month, 11am 

Price: Free



Paula Garfield

Paula Garfield is the Artistic Director of Deafinitely Theatre. An actor, director, workshop leader
and organiser, Paula has worked on a variety of television, film and theatre projects over the past fifteen years. In 2002 she established Deafinitely Theatre with Steven Webb and Kate Furby after becoming frustrated at the barriers that deaf actors and directors face across the arts and media.

She has produced and directed many plays and worked extensively in TV, including Channel Four’s Learn Sign Language, Four Fingers and a Thumb, BBC’s Hands Up and Casualty, plus appearances in every series of the BBC’s deaf drama, Switch.

For Deafinitely Theatre, Paula’s previous productions include: Two Chairs, Motherland, Children of a Greater God, Playing God, Double Sentence and Gold Dust. She also devised and directed The Boy and the Statue for Deafinitely
at the Tricycle Theatre and on a London schools tour. Paula has directed two productions at Shakespeare’s Globe: Love’s Labour’s Lost for the Globe to Globe Festival, as part of Deafinitely’s 10th anniversary celebrations, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her most recent productions for Deafinitely include: Tanika’s Journey (Southwark Playhouse), Grounded (Park Theatre), a national tour of family show, Something Else and Contractions at ND2 in 2017.

Paula’s production of Contractions for Deafinitely Theatre won the off West End Award (Offie) for ‘Best Production’ 2017.

Her most recently production at N.D.T ‘4.48 Psychosis’ November 2019 and was nominated and shortlisted for Best Director by Broadway World Uk. Paula won the Tonic Award for her work in Deafinitely Theatre.

Emily Howlett

Emily Howlett is a bilingual director and performer, using both British Sign Language and Spoken English. Her work often includes integrated BSL and creative captions, as well as exploring visual storytelling and creative access. She is based between Derby and Cardiff, and has worked extensively throughout the UK. Recently, she was been Associate Director for Derby Theatre's first in-house main-stage shows with full BSL integration ('Jungle Book' and 'Treasure Island'), and has directed the creatively captioned 'Eugene' for Edinburgh Fringe Festival (via Attenborough Arts and Slunglow). Emily has just returned from Timber Festival, for which she directed the community co-created 'The Offerings'. As well as shows, she also tries to effectively direct a family including two children, guinea pigs and dogs!