Augmented by Sophie Woolley, touring in March 2020

by Sophie Woolley in London, England, United Kingdom

Augmented by Sophie Woolley, touring in March 2020
We did it
On 7th February 2020 we successfully raised £2,002 with 58 supporters in 35 days

To share and discuss the roller coaster, real life story of having a cochlear implant and how it feels to be a 'deaf cyborg'.

by Sophie Woolley in London, England, United Kingdom

Hello! I've created a show called Augmented, which tells all about going deaf (in adulthood) and having an Advanced Bionics cochlear implant. There was nothing in culture which reflected my experience, so I decided to make a show to share the complexity and build bridges between hearing and deaf culture. 

Augmented is the inaugural show for my new company, Augmented Productions and produced by Told by an Idiot's leading producer, Jenni Grainger. The show is in association with Told by an Idiot, a company with a history of touring innovative and provocative new work for the last 26 years.  

It’s easy to find YouTube videos of deaf people being ‘switched on,' but what happens to them after that? Do they become assimilated into ‘hearing culture’? Or are implants not that good? 

Having been hearing, deaf and now ‘cyborg,' I can see the world from three perspectives and I invite you to support my work in sharing my unique perspective.  

Augmented is a moving and entertaining solo show, directed by Rachel Bagshaw (Associate Director at London’s Unicorn Theatre).  It features stunning creative captions by award winning Josh Pharo, and design by award-winning set and costume designer Laura Hopkins, with an amazing sound track by Adrienne Quartly. 

Arts Council England is supporting the tour and their financial contribution has allowed me to secure some brilliant tour venues all over the country, however there are areas of the budget that still require funding, including: Financial support to stretch our marketing further to ensure the show is seen by everyone, including the scientific community, professionals working with deaf people and children, deaf and disabled people. 

I also want to have accessible Q&A sessions after three of the shows on tour and there are additional costs for these which are outside of the production budget. These Q&A sessions are crucial because the show provokes many questions from deaf and hearing people, and provides a platform for sharing our stories, hopes and fears about the future for deaf and hearing society.  

I would really love for the show to be seen in London and a well known venue has offered me space to showcase the production in London for three dates. We need additional financial support to make this a reality. 

I’ve raised the financial backing from the Arts Council and also Advanced Bionics (who have given me £1000 in sponsorship, which is awesome). 

I have just £3000 to go to reach my final target of being able to achieve all I would like to achieve. If you can invest any amount, I would be hugely grateful.  

The Augmented tour dates are, (London TBC):

5th/6th/7th March 2020 Manchester Royal Exchange

9/10th/11th March 2020  Birmingham Rep

13th/14th March 2020 Salisbury Playhouse

17th-21 March 2020 Plymouth Theatre Royal, Drum

25 March 2020 Cambridge Junction

 Photo Justin Munitz.

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