Kasia Senyszyn, who is studying for a PhD in Drama by Research in the School of Arts, supported by the Alumni Postgraduate Research Scholarship, has just contributed an opinion piece for The Stage on making theatre inclusive.
Established in 1880, The Stage is a British weekly newspaper for the entertainment industry, with a particular focus on theatre.
In her article, entitled ‘It’s Time For Action, Not Excuses, On Inclusive Theatre’, Kasia argues for the need for theatres to make their shows more accessible and inclusive.
‘Tagging things as ‘accessible’ in a programme also implies only that work is accessible to everyone, which is often not the case,’ she argues in the piece. ‘For example, dance is often accessible for D/deaf people. A poetry reading is often accessible for visually impaired people. In an ideal world, we wouldn’t need to tag something as ‘accessible’ because everything would be. For now, I suppose, we need it. But in reality, it’s just about being more explicit about what our work includes.’
However, drawing on her PhD research, Kasia makes suggestions for changes that theatres can easily make. ‘There are real things that theatre companies can do, even those on a budget like many at the [Edinburgh] fringe. A projector and PowerPoint can be used to do captions in your show. YouTube can add automatic captions to videos… An audio brochure or programme can be done with you recording the written material yourself on SoundCloud.’
Kasia is artistic director of the Parrot Theatre Company, which will be performing an accessible version of Mark Wilson’s play Talk at the Edinburgh Festival from Sunday 11 August until Saturday 17 August 2019. For details of these performances, please see the page here.
To read the full piece, please see The Stage site here.