Paula Garfield

Paula Garfield is the Artistic Director of Deafinitely Theatre. An actor, director and field creative leader, Paula has worked on a variety of television, film and theatre projects over the past twenty years. In 2002, she established Deafinitely Theatre with Steven Webb and Kate Furby after becoming frustrated at the barriers that deaf actors and directors face across the arts and media industry.
Paula has produced and directed many plays and worked extensively in TV, including Channel Four’s Learn Sign LanguageFour Fingers and a Thumb, BBC’s Hands Up and Casualty, plus appearances in every series of the BBC’s deaf drama, Switch. Her previous productions for Deafinitely Theatre are many and include: Tanika’s Journey (Southwark Playhouse), Grounded (Park Theatre), a national tour of the family show, Something Else. Paula has directed two productions at Shakespeare’s Globe: Love’s Labour’s Lost  as part of Deafinitely’s 10th anniversary celebrations, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Paula’s 2017 production of Contractions for Deafinitely Theatre won The Off West End Theatre Award (Offie) for ‘Best Production’, and her production of 4.48 Psychosis at New Diorama Theatre in 2019 was shortlisted for Best Director by Broadway World UK. 
Paula was also awarded the Tonic Award for her work at Deafinitely Theatre. 
Through the coronavirus pandemic, Deafinitiely Theatre provided 26 creative bursaries to support the development of freelance deaf artists. Throughout lockdown, Paula directed the five Deafinitely Digital films that made up the Talking Hands series, a collaboration with Paines Plough, as well as writing Everyday, Deafinitely Theatre’s 20th anniversary production, which premiered at New Diorama Theatre before embarking on a national tour in 2022. Everyday was nominated for The Off West End Theatre Award for Best Accessible Production.
In 2023, Paula is directing a one night performance of The Vagina Monologues, raising money for Deaf-initely Women’s ongoing work to support deaf and deafblind survivors of domestic violence. She is also working with The Pied Piper Company on a new touring family show, Can Bears Ski? as well as Deafinitely Theatre’s next full production, The Promise; a story about a deaf mother living with dementia.