New play After the Blackout is breaking down barriers for both its artists and its audience.

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Born from a testimonial workshop and blossomed into a full length production, After the Blackout interweaves the personal histories of the performers with those of the fictional characters they play. Communication between the actors has been one of the most challenging aspects, such as figuring out how Prince Amponsah — an actor who recently lost his arms in a fire — would communicate with Tamyka or the other deaf actress Catherine Joell Mackinnon. To accomplish this, they used a combination of interpreters or voice-to-text through iPads in rehearsal and then developed a series of cues to prompt each actor during performances.

In the above video, go behind the scenes with Tamyka as she, Catherine and Judith work through a scene told entirely through sign language. The scene looks at deaf culture from opposing perspectives, challenging any myths of a monolithic culture.

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Tamyka Bullen is putting deaf culture centre stage

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