Two recent theatre productions in Auckland are signalling a new approach to attracting deaf and blind audiences. The Brothers Size, a play produced by the Silo Theatre, used three sign language interpreters and two audio describers narrated The North Shore Music Theatre's production of the musical Miss Saigon.

This isn't the first time sign language interpreters have been used in theatre. In fact, it's reasonably common in New Zealand. But it's almost certainly the first time for an audio described show, a feature increasingly available on DVDs of movies and TV shows.

The initiative behind these two performances, called SIGNAL, came from The Edge, Auckland's central city entertainment centre. Producer Bronwyn Bent felt their Public Programmes scheme, designed to offer access, learning and participation opportunities to the general public, wasn't doing enough for the disabled community.

Produced by Justin Gregory.

The SIGNAL Programme

The next Sign Language Interpreted Performance will be The Calendar Girls at 4pm on 14th August The Civic Theatre in Auckland.

And there will be an Audio Described Performance of The Calendar Girls at 2pm, 20th August also at The Civic Theatre.