This event has now finished however you can watch the recorded discussion above.

Inspired by Black Lives Matter and to instigate change in the deaf arts community, Deafinitely Theatre hosts a live event to discuss discrimination and equality in the performance sector. David EllingtonJephta AsamoahDonna Mullings and Semhar Beyene will discuss their experiences as black deaf artists and professionals, tackling issues of race perceptions, stereotyping, double barriers, accessibility and the deaf community.

The free Zoom event will include a Q&A for audiences and will be live interpreted for hearing audiences.

The event will also be able to view on Facebook Live and YouTube.

Jephta Asamoah

Jephta is the founder of Black Deaf People UK. He took part in Deafinitely Youth Theatre, performing in Blackout in 2015, and was featured in the BBC’s See Hear, Paddy Ladd and the Future of Deafhood, for a discussion on cultural appropriation. He moved to London from Ghana aged two and attended a mainstream school in one of the most deprived boroughs in London, completing 11 GCSEs. Whilst at Barking & Dagenham College he was the first Black Deaf student to win the Student of the Year National Award. Jephta is currently studying Economics and Politics at the University of Leeds.

Semhar Beyene

Born in London to Eritrean immigrant parents in West London, Semhar moved away to boarding school in Berkshire where she quickly fell in love with music and dance. Having immersed herself in Deaf performing arts at a young age, she’s performed in all-Deaf dance groups and taught dance workshops for international deaf artists, festivals, TV and music videos. With 13 years in healthcare and technology, designing creative communications for Deaf individuals, parents and families. Semhar is currently working as Digital Designer for an international think tank institute in London. 

David Ellington

David has worked in film, theatre and television drama and presenting since 1997. He founded VS1 Productions in 2007, paving the way for numerous shorts, and television drama and documentaries that feature British Sign Language (BSL), with whom David earned television and film awards for his outstanding and creative inputs. His work includes a groundbreaking BSL performance for Channel 4’s Rio Paralympics trailer, as well as three-minute advertisement for The Last Leg.

David has consulted for numerous arts organisations to raise awareness and engagement with the Deaf community, run theatre courses for young Deaf and disabled students and is currently involved in leading monthly Deaf Conversations About Cinema events at Watershed, Bristol. He was featured in Bristol’s 100 BME Powerlist in 2018. David also has interest in aerial work, and has been involved in Extraordinary Bodies productions (Weighting in 2016 and What Am I Worth in 2018 and 2020). 

Donna Mullings

Donna is an actress who has worked with both Deaf and Integrated mainstream theatre companies. Her Deafinitely Theatre work includes Something Else (UK tour), Love Labour’s Lost (Shakespeare’s Globe), Children of the Greater God (Jackson’s Lane Theatre) and Vagina Monologues (Cochrane Theatre).

Her other theatre work includes: Treasure Island (postponed due to Covid-19), Macbrew and Pulse (Derby Theatre), The Who’s Tommy (Ramps on the Moon), Baa Moo Yellow Dog (Half Moon Theatre), Cinderella’s Sister and The Crane (Red Earth Theatre, Derby), Beauty and the Beast, A Christmas Carol, Hansel and Gretel, Murder Mystery (Real Life) and An Unfortunate Pregnancy (3D Drama Pantomime, Derby).

Television, presenting and film work includes: Magic Hands (CBeebies), Deaf Funny (Eyewitness Media), Supersonic (Nealth Film), Domestic Abuse (SignHealth), ITV Tyne Tees Television, SignPost (Newcastle) and Remark! (London)

Dance work includes working with the Def Motion Company touring to the Reims Clin d’Oeil Festival, (France), the Incloodu Festival (London) and the WoW Festival (Black Country).


Websites/ Helplines 

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in the discussion, the following websites/helplines may be of use:


More information 

Anti-racism websites and charities or more information 

Booking for this event has now closed.