Accessibility May 6, 2020
Bengaluru’s iconic Ranga Shankara theatre introduces storytelling in sign language!
Bengaluru’s well-known theatre Ranga Shankara roped in professional Kavya Srinivasan to narrate the story ‘In the Forest’ in sign language as part of their summer program for children AHA! Little Cloud. Kavya, who works closely with the disabled community, narrates the story beautifully on Ranga Shankara’s YouTube Channel.
Ranga Shankara, one of Bengaluru’s well-known theatres, has numerous programs and events for theatre lovers. Every summer, they hold the AHA! Little Cloud, a story telling session for children. This year, their sessions are held digitally due to lockdown. This year, Ranga Shankara roped in theatre professional Kavya Srinivasan, who also works closely with the disability community to narrate a story in sign language. Kavya narrates the story ‘In the Forest’ in the seventeen minutes video which is up on YouTube with nearly 2500 views already.
Ranga Shankara goes inclusive
Are you a theatre lover from Bengaluru? Then Ranga Shankara needs no introduction. Started in the year 2004, Ranga Shankara has staged some exemplary performances and tied up with renowned actors too.
Their annual storytelling sessions ‘AHA! Little Cloud’ went digital this year due to the lockdown. So from 18 April, videos were uploaded on their YouTube channel so that children could enjoy it to the fullest sitting inside their homes, especially those with hearing impairment. This is the first time that they are introducing sign language to their story telling sessions.
Kavya Srinivasan, who is a theatre professional, has been working with the disabled community closely for a while. Kavya has learnt both Indian and American Sign Language. In fact, this youngster has not received any professional training in it. She learnt it from her friends from the deaf community.
Ranga Shankara invited me to tell a story in Sign Language and that was really exciting to me. I narrated the story ‘In the Forest’ which is a popular American folklore. I think introducing sign language is a great initiative towards inclusion. – Kavya Srinivasan, Theatre professional
The YouTube video has nearly 2,500 views already.
Thumbs up for Ranga Shankara’s initiative
According to Kavya, the team at Ranga Shankara is equally excited with the great response for the sign language story video. They even had discussions with Kavya on how to make the theatre more accessible and inclusive.
“They were excited to have me on-board. We also got a lot of good response from people of the deaf community. Ranga Shankara is also looking into ways on how to make the deaf community involved in performances. It is important to make art accessible”, says Kavya.
Clearly, Team Ranga Shankara is gearing up to make their ventures more accessible and inclusive. Theatre lovers in Bengaluru can watch out for more disabled-friendly initiatives from one of India’s finest theatres.
Positive responses have come pouring in from across the globe. “I learned a few sign words through this story. It’s such a powerful learning medium. The story was equally good and you signed so well Kavya. Keep it coming”, commented Mini Jain.
“Awestruck with this performance! Thank you for re-defining language, for what it actually means”, says Akshay Raheja.
Meera Balakrishnan commented, “Thank you so much Kavya. We the so-called normal people always forget such specially abled people. You reminded us about them”.
Watch in Sign Language
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