A bilingual play for children which explores communication, friendship, identity, the family unit and dinosaurs

Pixar’s Inside Out meets Night at the Museum

Sam is a happy, dinosaur loving 8-year-old whose world turns upside down after his parents separate. As he takes himself off to the far end of the school field he meets Alex, a deaf girl with a vivid imagination – and an impressive collection of dinosaurs.

Bonding over boring packed lunches and their favourite fierce T-Rex, the pair form an unlikely friendship. When things at home become too difficult for Sam, Alex whisks him away on an astonishing adventure to meet the almighty Stan, the gigantic T-Rex at Manchester Museum.

A powerful and poignant new play by Sarah Emmott, Stan celebrates the power of play, the joy of communication and the positive force of friendship. Featuring awesome animated dinosaurs, Stan is written and performed in English and British Sign Language and embeds creative captions within the set.


An equal theatre experience for deaf & hearing audiences

Written and performed in English and BSL and featuring closed captions throughout, Stan offered an equal experience to both deaf and hearing audiences. This equality was continued outside the performance space. Audiences were greeted at the box office in English and BSL and the post-show workshop included a BSL interpreter.

The use of projection meant that Stan used an entirely digital set, allowing for the embedding of creative captions that used written English and simple illustration to translate both the spoken English and British Sign Language used in the play.

A realistic animation of Stan the dinosaur made for a captivating experience, using bass-heavy rumbling and roaring sounds as Stan stomped around the audience to fully immerse deaf audiences. Watch a behind the scenes look at Triple Dot Makers’ animation and video design for STAN.

Stan toured across 7 venues for 6 weeks in 2022, engaging 1,699 audience members, 35% of which said that this was their first time visiting a theatre. Read about the production and wraparound participatory activity, and discover the impact it had on audiences in our evaluation report.

Click here to read our evaluation report

With thanks to

Ross Thompson: Sam

Alexandra James: Alex

Mum: Gemma Green

Written by: Sarah Emmott

Directed by: Jonathan McGrath

Movement Director: Deb Pugh

Sound design and Production Manager: Adam Steed

Lighting Design: Alex Willy

Facilitation by Sarah Emmott and Chelsea Morgan

BSL consultation: Raphaella Julien

Animation by Triple Dot Makers

Set and costume design by Irene Jade


Promotional illustration by Noe Baba

Producer: Rachel Moorhouse

Associate producer: Megan Holland

Audience development producer: Mary-Jayne Russell de Clifford

Audience development producer: Jodean Sumner

With thanks to the creatives who helped in the research and development of Stan: Rachel Moffatt-Feldman,  Adam Eastwood,  Dan Steele, Stephen Collins,  Vilma Jackson, Rebecca Kenny and Kristian Wall.

Commissioned by Z arts. Funded by Arts Council England. With support from Greater Manchester Combined Authority, The Lady Neville Charity, The Granada Foundation, Touchstones and the Backstage Trust. This project has been made possible by a grant from Postcode Community Trust, a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.