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Feelings about a theatre performance interpreted in to sign language

A Youth Theatre in Kaarina (Finland) is performing a theatre piece "Ella ja jättipotti" (Ella and the jackpot) directed by Minna-Stiina Saaristo in March 2010. The play is in Finnish. One of the performances was interpreted in to sign language, and Culture for All Service asked from the main actress Elina Karjalainen (Ella), how the performance went. In the future we hope here in the Culture for All Service to interview also viewers, who have followed the sign language interpretation, but this time we were not able to reach these busy theatre-goers.

The characters of the play are crouching down abd behing them is a backboard with a green field, blue sky and a traffic sign for pedestrian crossing.

Tiina (Ella Hellman), Pukari (Roosa Sandell), Hanna (Katja
Mikkola), Tuukka (Toni Suomela), Ella (Elina Karjalainen).
Photo: Mikko Vihervaara

According to Elina Karjalainen the performance went very well. Elina says: "Also the viewers who can hear seemed to be very interested about the sign language interpretation. All in all I think the message of the play reached everybody in the audience. The interpreters wanted to sit on the first row their backs pointing at the stage. There was a tiny light directed to them which enabled the audience to see the interpreters also when the lightning was gloomy."

"I don't think the interpretation had any special effect on our acting. It was anyhow obvious that some reactions for example to jokes came a bit late because of the delay in the interpretation. I would definitely organize interpreted performances again, and I think it is a very good way to reach new audience and people who understand sign language. This was also a valuable learning experience for the sign language interpretation students, who were doing the actual interpretation." Read the whole interview in Finnish and check the information about the play in Finnish.

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