ABBA's "Sign and Sound Theatre" addressed EU priorities for an accessible and inclusive culture by removing "attitudinal barriers" and exploring new ways to produce inclusive arts for inclusive audiences.
The project tackled a Europe-wide lack of inclusion in the arts and worked on three strands of activity: testing ways of cooperation between cultural centres and service providers in order to engage a larger range of audiences; encouraging deaf and hearing artists to collaborate through piloting a new theatre technique, Innovative Bilingual Theatre (IBT), that integrates sign and spoken language; experiencing ways to adapt IBT for other needs (e.g. blind persons or persons with learning difficulties) and other media.
"Artists and spectators, with(out) disabilities, enjoying the same theatre experience at the same time"
The project also provided capacity building and transnational mobility through workshops for cultural and service provider organisations, to learn how to engage audiences with different needs in the arts (theatre as a trial); for artistic directors, to learn how to use IBT as a tool for developing inclusive theatre performances (or adapt it to other media and needs); for artists, to learn how to perform using IBT in collaboration between artists with different needs (e.g. hearing and deaf).
A pilot IBT performance was Guardians of Dreams, a theatre play produced by the 9 partners and premiered and toured in 6 countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Portugal and United Kingdom).
The results and the evaluation of the project, as well as a set of guidelines and recommendations to European policy makers, was presented during International Deaf Week, 9/19 in Brussels, Belgium.
The project was supported by Creative Europe. The ENCC was one of the 9 European partner organisations, amongst which two ENCC members.
Esteetön taide ja kulttuuri ry, Finland
Udruga Kazaliste, Vizualne Umjetnosti i Kultura Gluhih Dlan, Croatia
Teatar Tsvete, Bulgaria
University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Centar za kulturu Tresnjevka, Croatia
GC De Zeyp, Belgium
European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities, Belgium
European Network of Cultural Centres, Belgium