Stan- Performer Vilma Jackson on children reacting to BSL



If you follow us on social media, you may have noticed our feeds have been chock-full of dinosaurs! That’s because we’ve been busy working on our new play Stan, written by our very own Sarah Emmott. A bilingual production performed in English and British Sign Language (BSL), Stan is a new play for children which explores communication, friendship, identity, the family unit… and dinosaurs.

Named after the T-Rex at the Manchester Museum, Stan tells the story of a blossoming friendship between a boy who is struggling to cope with the departure of his father, and a deaf girl. As the pair bond over their shared love of dinosaurs and learn to communicate, she leads him into a playful imaginative world, which helps him deal with the change in his family.

As part of our recent Research and Development period of Stan we’ve invited our lovely creative team to share their experiences. In the video below brilliant performer Vilma Jackson, who was cast in the role of ‘Girl’, shares her experiences.

English Translation:

Hi! My name is Vilma. I’m a deaf actress. I’ve been working with a Company called Art with Heart – a lovely, professional, deaf aware team.

I worked with two hearing actors called Kristian and Rebecca, both professional actors who went on some deaf awareness training and learnt some signs (BSL) so our communication flowed smoothly, it was lovely.

The project is called ‘Stan’, a play for children. We went to a school so the children could watch the show – the were amazed! They had never seen anyone sign before! After the show, they loved it and came to meet me because they wanted to learn sign and I teach them. It was really lovely to see.

This project will be good to tour because it will impact the parents of deaf children, because maybe parents have no knowledge of signing (BSL) or don’t know anything about deafness. It will be good for them because they will realise that a deaf child who goes to a mainstream school can find it difficult without an interpreter and feel isolated because they struggle to communicate, and that will affect and lower their confidence. When they watch [the play] it might change things for the better for the child, maybe they will go to a deaf school, or mainstream, so they can be confident and proud of their own identity, which is great.

I’m sure this project will be successful and make all parents aware. It’s important.

Thank you for watching, bye!

Vilma on Youtube

Watch Vilma perform brilliant BSL translations of songs on Youtube here.

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