For the past five years, SRT has been championing accessibility in the arts for disabled communities in Singapore. Join us on a journey as we reflect on the strides made and the impactful moments that have shaped the last five years.
Since late 2018, almost every single SRT show has provided access services such as Audio Description, Creative Captioning, Singapore Sign Language (SgSL) Interpretation, and Relaxed Performances. Through the Access Arts Hub, we have conducted multiple trainings to build industry expertise across various fields, from audio description and creative captioning to accessible marketing and SPED pedagogy. The Student Education Fund also enters its 12th year of providing access to theatre shows, workshops, and camps, furthering SRT’s vision aim to serve people from all walks of life and to contribute to a more holistically inclusive arts scene.
With GIC’s support, 36 SRT shows have provided access services for blind, vision-impaired, deaf, and hard-of-hearing audiences, as well as those with autism, dementia, sensory sensitivities, or other conditions who benefit from a more relaxed theatre environment.
“It helped my son who has a language disability to follow the flow of the story.”
– Creative Captioning user at Shakespeare in the Park: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2023)
“Interpreters put in a lot of effort to make [the show] more deaf-friendly to accommodate culture like the shift (change) of time and place.”
– SgSL Interpretation user at Lungs (2022)
“I found the audio description extremely helpful for someone like me (VI) to enjoy the show. Although I was told about a touch tour before the show, I could not attend it. However, I still very much enjoyed the show despite not being able to see the stage clearly thanks to the description. Well done to the team and I hope more shows offer the service to support communities such as myself.”
– Audio Description user at The Cat in the Hat (2023)
The Inclusive Young Company (iYC), which provides theatre-making training to disabled youth with the support of Chua Foundation crossed its three-year milestone with a challenging production. Open the Curtains: An exploration of Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis received many positive responses for its presentation on themes of social exclusion, mortality, and mental health from disabled perspectives.
“I realised that in theatre, every performance is different - the actor gets into the zone using a variety of factors: bandwidth, energy levels, imagination, audience reactions etc, which helps me to let go and trust in the moment.”
“I surprised myself by writing my own script for Open The Curtains. The more I spoke, the more confidence I had. I'm glad I adapted to last-minute changes.”
– iYC members on making Open the Curtains
"There are plays that stay with us, and then there are plays that burrow deep into our souls - this is unequivocally the latter. At its core, Inclusive Young Company’s masterpiece Open the Curtains is a hopeful exploration of love amidst the ruins of mental distress." – Audience at Open the Curtains
Through the Access Arts Hub, we have conducted multiple trainings to build industry expertise across various fields, from audio description and creative captioning to accessible marketing. With the support of Temasek Foundation, we also kicked off Accelerate Access, a long-term residency programme working with special education (SPED) schools to provide arts-infused class experiences for students with special needs.
“The teaching artists were able to strike a good balance between imaginative play and structure. Their sessions catered to the varying communication abilities in the class. We could see a different part of kids emerge that have not seen before. The students thoroughly enjoyed every lesson.”
– Teacher at Rainbow Centre
SRT is proud to have taken a lead role in advocating for inclusiveness in the arts across a broad scope of less privileged communities in Singapore. The only way forward is through – leaving no one behind as we progress to a more diverse, creative, and inclusive society.