‘Props’ will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in September. I was very pleased when the designer suggested this photograph of a chair upholstered in pale green velvet for the cover, because it recalls Susan Melrose’s question about a chair on stage, something that has been in my mind throughout the research and writing of the book: ‘Does it cease to be a “theatre sign” if I observe it – and if I go so far as to “lose my gaze” momentarily in the richness of its fabric, in its pleasing curve of frame – without “translating” it into another sign?’ (A Semiotics of the Dramatic Text, 1994, page 26)
Call for Presentations
This one-day workshop aims to explore some of the aesthetic and technological questions around the practice of audio description for live performance and in museums and galleries. Proposals for 20-minute presentations or workshop sessions are welcome from researchers and practitioners working in fields such as theatre and performance, museums and galleries, disability studies, the senses, writing and translation, voice and sound design. Presentations might consider – but are not limited to – the following themes:
* Audio description in promenade, site-specific and multi-media performance
* Integrated audio description
* Audio description for dance
* Audio description for opera
* Indeterminacy and surprise: what is ‘access’ for post-dramatic and non-narrative performance?
* Other resources for access to the visual elements of performance such as
performer-guides, recorded introductions, touch tours and haptic tools
* Access to theatre for blind and partially-sighted children and young people – is a different approach needed?
* The relationship between verbal description and tactile and kinaesthetic experience in the touch tour and pre-show movement workshop
* Other people making use of audio description: theatre-goers on the autistic spectrum, sighted museum visitors, students of visual culture
* Blind and partially-sighted performers’ experience of audio description and touch tours
* Talking about diversity, bodies, sex and violence
* The museum experience: orientation, audio information, tactile guides and handling collections
* The describing voice: whose voice? live or recorded? human or synthesised?
* The strengths and limitations of infrared, radio and wireless systems; in-ear, on-ear and bone conduction headphones; new directions in sound technology
* Achieving a balance between speech, music, recorded sound and description
* Archives – the potential of description scripts as performance documentation
Proposals (200 words) and a short biography (200 words) should be sent to [email protected] by 30 June: successful applicants will be contacted by 21st July. There is no cost to attend the event and refreshment and lunch will be provided.
Sponsored by Royal Holloway University of London
Organisers: Hannah Thompson (Royal Holloway University of London) and Eleanor Margolies (Audio Describer)