Broadway World interview with Paula Garfield 

Marking the 15th anniversary of pioneering company Deafinitely Theatre, Artistic Director Paula Garfield is directing a new production of Mike Bartlett's Contractions. It begins previews at New Diorama Theatre on 1 November.

What was the first theatre you saw?

My first visit to the theatre was at the age of 12, with my eldest sister on her school trip. I can't remember where, but the show was My Fair Lady. I watched it all the way through, and when it finished, I cried because I didn't know what anyone had been saying. At the age of 12, I wasn't thinking about the theatre's duty to provide me access - I saw it as my problem, I was Deaf.

When did you become aware of that lack of access provision?

It wasn't until many years later, whilst working as a professional actress, that I began to notice that there wasn't enough theatre created with a Deaf audience in mind. I was often the only Deaf actor or one of two working within a mainstream theatre company.

When friends came to watch, I would ask what they thought...Read the full article