Deafinitely Theatre today announce the second round of bursary winners, awarded to six deaf or hard of hearing theatre freelancers - Christopher Fonseca, Cherie Gordon, Nadeem Islam, Maral Mamaghani, Craig McCulloch and Evie Waddell. As with the first round of winners in February 2021, each winner will receive £1000 for their career-development, additionally getting exclusive access to networking and keeping-in-touch sessions. The bursary was open to any deaf or hard of hearing practitioners and performers over the age of 18, at any stage in their career.

Deafinitely Theatre’s 2021/22 artistic programme is supported by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation’s Reinvent Performing Arts fund, which has committed to supporting arts organisations through the Covid-19 pandemic. Deafinitely Theatre has been generously awarded a grant of £43,000.

Cherie Gordon, said today, "I really appreciate this chance of receiving this bursary as I now believe that there is more to my film and theatre journey. I had only just started and I am grateful to continue exploring more, receive the right support and training in developing skills around directing. I want to explore the technical skills, creative skills and problem solving that is involved to be able to become a professional director and may direct my own film or play or other artist's work.”

The six recipients will use their bursary for the following:

  • Christopher Fonseca- to develop and present a day of professional dance and physical theatre training, discussions, skill-sharing and networking for the deaf dance community to support the next generation of artists.
  • Cherie Gordon- to support her development as a director, including training, workshop and shadowing opportunities. 
  • Nadeem Islam- to develop his experience as a writer and performer with mentorship from an Asian screenwriter and to devise a dark comedy monologue for film based on his experience of racism.
  • Maral Mamaghani- to research a live art performance installation for an outdoor space, centered on her intersectionality and status as a deaf female refugee. Experimenting with lighting, sound and structure, Mamaghani will research and develop a performance concept for outdoor festivals. 
  • Craig McCulloch- to develop a new visual show, including R&D with two performers, building his skills as a writer and director. 
  • Evie Waddell- to create a new piece of work that explores the connections between BSL and Gaelic cultures using traditional song, stories and dance, collaborating with BSL theatre makers and dancers.