Shakespeare's Globe 2013


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My slides for the short talk I'm giving at Shakespeare's Globe on 26th February 2013.

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  • I’ve only got 10 minutes, and I can speak about captioning for hours.I’m going to whip through what captioning is, why we do it and how we do it.
  • With any theatre performance, there are 2 elements – the play itself, and the audienceDisability Arts is all about making sure that the widest range of people possible get to make theatreAccess is all about making sure that the widest range of people get to watch theatreThose are 2 quite different things, though they often get mixed up together, including at this event!The point of captioning is to make theatre accessible to deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people who wish to access plays in EnglishSTAGETEXT make a very wide range of plays accessible – not only here at the Globe, but also West End musicals, regional theatres and fringe theatres, mostly mainstream theatre
  • Sound file from University of ManchesterExtract of book being readMimics high frequency hearing lossIf whole play sounded like that to you:Sign language interpretation helps if you understand BSL (British Sign Language)Volume increase would help a bit, but not completelyLipreading would help a littleStill not full accessOn/off switchPersuasion
  • Did you understand that time?Brain is very clever to put vision & sound togetherDemonstrates that captioning just gives access to the actor’s words – ideally for me the captioning should be the least interesting thing of a play
  • Much of Shakespeare is written in blank verseUnlike preceding playwrights though, the thoughts of the characters go across those linesAdditionally, Shakespeare, especially in his later plays, broke the rhythm of the iambic pentameter, and this very often reflects something about the mental or emotional state of that characterEach actor’s delivery will use all of this information to inform how they say the lineShakespeare wrote his plays to be watched & listened to, rather than read, so we set out the text to reflect how the actors are actually saying it.We also try to make it as easy to read as possible.We keep French accents, for example if an actor is saying “banishéd” rather than “banished” we will keep the acute e on the end of the line.All of our conventions have been developed using feedback from deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people.First two captioned Shakespeare plays done both ways – overwhealming response that prose was easier & better than blank verse
  • Shakespeare's Globe 2013

    1. 1. Make Every Word Count - Theatre CaptioningLissy Lovett – General Manager of STAGETEXT
    2. 2. What I’m going to cover • What captioning is • Why we do it • How we do itActors’ warm-up prior to captionedperformance of Life is a Dream,Donmar Warehouse, 18 November 2009.Photographer: Matt Humphrey
    3. 3. Art and Access Disability Arts Access for audiences Art made by D/deaf Art made bydeafened and anyonehard of hearing Captioning makes creatives live events accessible to deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people who wish to access theatre in English d/Deaf Audiences deafened and made up of hard of hearing anyone audiences
    4. 4. What can you make out from this piece of spoken text?Sound file from the Universityof Manchester
    5. 5. What can you make out this time?
    6. 6. Video created
    7. 7. Who uses captions?• Deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people who wish to access plays in English• People whose hearing is not as sharp as it used to be• Hearing audiences – People who have English as a second language – Students studying plays – Plays with difficult language (like Shakespeare!) – Actors with bad diction, strong accents etc
    8. 8. Captioning conventions Aim is direct, non-interpretive access• Full text of play, nothing omitted• Character names included• Sound and musical effects included• Minimal interpretation• Accents sometimes included• Emotions rarely included• Nothing is translated
    9. 9. Shakespeare captioning conventions• Follow actors’ words, NOT original text• Follow actors’ delivery, NOT as set out on page• Blank verse prose• Semi-colons & colons commas & full stops• Spelling is modernised• French accents are kept
    10. 10. Formatting
    11. 11. Final formatted captions
    12. 12. Romeo & JulietWilliam ShakespeareAct I, scene 1Source - Massachusetts Instituteof Technology ‘s Shakespearesite
    13. 13. Thank you! Captioned performance of Hansel and Gretel Northern Stage Photo: Linda Borthwick
    14. 14. Contact detailsLissy Lovett Tel: 020 7377 0540General Manager Mobile: 07813 139408STAGETEXT Floor, 54 Commercial St, E1 6LT slides here –Information on theatre access here –