Project Theme: Digital content distribution – delivering content in new ways
Technology partner: We are Everyone
National Theatre of Scotland is working with its partners (digital agency We are Everyone and Flip - Disability Equality in the Arts) to create and trial a web-based platform relaying captioning and audio description directly to smart phones or tablets in real time during live theatre performances.
This digital solution will make every National Theatre of Scotland performance accessible to theatre-goers with hearing or visual impairments. This new platform would: increase the market by opening up to 600,000 potential customers in Scotland with hearing / sight impairments who currently have limited access to productions; offer a consistency of experience across the organisation’s programme; as well as enabling it to lead other performing arts organisations in the provision of accessible services through technological innovation.
Testing and reflecting is key to the success of this project. The project team are working with the users of current technology (captioning via screens and audio description using theatre’s own headsets), and using a ‘dummy’ show to test the new interface with captioners, audio describers and users. Feedback from these testers will improve and adapt the digital experience as well as any other elements which emerge. This carefully considered testing took place in October 2013 and its outcomes are being considered.
Many of the discoveries the project has made so far are cultural or social rather than technical. As the project nears completion the project team will work with colleagues to understand how this technology could be delivered as a mainstream activity within the wider organisation.
National Theatre of Scotland
Founded in 2006, the National Theatre of Scotland exists to create theatre experiences that are contemporary, confident and forward looking. It is a theatre of the imagination: a Theatre Without Walls. With no stage of its own, NTS has the freedom to go where its audiences and stories take it.