Deafinitely’s vision is a world where deaf people are a valued part of the national theatre landscape, recognised for the excellence of their work. We are the only professional deaf-led theatre company in the UK that works bilingually in British Sign Language and spoken English, and produces work that caters to audiences of all ages. Deaf theatre has a vital contribution to make to the UK's diverse and vibrant theatre landscape. Deafinitely Theatre challenges barriers to training and opportunities and embraces the deaf world's diversity. We work hard to nurture the next generation of deaf actors, writers and audiences through our Deafinitely Youth Theatre project and Deafinitely Little productions for young children and our Creative Hub training and development programme for adults.
To produce high-quality bilingual theatre for deaf and hearing audiences of all ages and backgrounds, combining the visual storytelling of British Sign Language with the immediacy of spoken English.
In 2002 Paula Garfield set up Deafinitely Theatre alongside Steven Webb and Kate Furby after becoming frustrated at the barriers that Deaf actors and directors face in mainstream media. When we launched in 2002 audiences queued in the street for return tickets for our sold out premiere of Deaf History at The Gate Theatre in London. In May 2012, Deafinitely Theatre celebrated its 10 year anniversary. We performed the first ever British Sign Language Shakespeare play at the Globe Theatre, Love’s Labour’s Lost, attracting deaf actors and audiences into the venue for the first time in it’s entire history, and for the first time audiences and reviewers looked beyond the deafness of the actors, and instead judged us on the quality of the arts experience.