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Subtext on Stage
The SHADOW style of inclusion allows for the greatest amount of artistic + emotional access. The ASL performers are costumed and FULLY INCLUDED in the actors world, blending both languages directly on the action for the most meaningful audience experience. By harmonizing the signing and speaking into one stage picture, the ASL performers are no longer seen as an appendage or distraction – instead become subtext of the script brought to life.
Deaf AND hearing audiences report this style to be the most entertaining and least intrusive. Hearing actors who have worked with our shadow performers overwhelmingly report the experience to be an enriching, artistic enhancement to their work.
We work with Deaf ASL consultants to ensure our interpretations are on point and logistics regarding Deaf audience members are addressed. Whether a production is interested in providing one shadow performance or outfit the entire run, our rehearsal strategies are designed to compliment each production’s needs.
Because the shadow style requires direction and rehearsal with the cast + crew it is best utilized in local theatre productions. Synergy’s trained shadow performers, who are licenced/certified interpreters and equally experienced thespians, have worked on everything from Shakespeare to Rocky Horror – and everything in every type of theatre: union houses, professional theatres, university theatre programs, community theatre and children’s theatre.
Centralized Sight Lines
The zone style of interpreting is best described as the mid point between shadowing and platform. Interpreters are costumed + placed in the nearby vicinity – bringing the language in closer proximity to the action without adding specific blocking for interpreters. This positions both languages as well as the stage action at a more comfortable distance.
Zone can be used in conjunction with shadowing during ensemble moments – such as grand dance numbers – or when intimate emotional moments are playing out on stage. This keeps language close but not intrusive of the actor’s energy.
Zone may also be suitable for shows with complex stage design.
Theatrical PLATFORM interpreting places 2 appropriately dressed interpreters to the side of the stage, placing language far from action yet accessible. If you went to a foreign film, think of having the subtitles on the wall – off to the side. This style is most often paired with touring productions that that want to include diverse audiences or who receive requests from consumers to provide language accessibility.
Due to the lack of opportunity for interpreters + performers to rehearse together the interpreters, instead, prepare the language thoroughly – consulting with the ticket holder, if possible.
Our teams of interpreters research any provided scripts, videos, or materials. Preparing interpretations is done collaboratively ensuring appropriate + cohesive language choices.
Concert/Large Venue Settings
ASL Interpreting Requests
Large venue or concert interpreting services often begin with a request from a ticket holder or group for sign language interpreting services for a specific event – usually a large scale touring production. This might include musicians, bands, comedians, festivals, public speakers or special events.
A clear, direct sight line is paramount for the Deaf audience. When our team of certified interpreters arrives prior to an event they will work with staff to improve any set-up logistics that require attention.
Detroit is hailed as having some of the best audiences – bringing entertainers back time and time again. Encapsulating the energy and atmosphere of concert events into our interpretations and business practices will create an enriched experience for all.
Virtual Performance Interpreting
The COVID-19 pandemic has lead to the entertainment industry shutting down theatres, large venues and most live productions. Some companies are in the process of developing entertainment opportunities online so audience members can experience art from the safety of their homes.
Synergy on Stage is actively discussing options with various collaborators on how we can bring theatre and music to virtual audiences, Deaf + hearing, in a meaningful way.
Subscribe to our newsletter to find out more or if you're looking to book a team of virtual performance interpreters send us a message!
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