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Actress searches for next generation of deaf talent

Published Date: 09 Jan 2017

Stage and screen star Genevieve Barr is calling on deaf young people who share her passion for performing to showcase their talents in our Raising the Bar competition.

Acclaimed actress Genevieve, known for her starring role in BBC drama The Silence, said: “I’ve always loved acting, but when I was younger I worried my deafness meant I wouldn’t be able to succeed in it. Teachers, family and friends encouraged me to keep working towards my dream.

"But sadly not everyone gets this support. Every deaf child should have the same opportunities as any other child, so I’m thrilled to support Raising the Bar and help shine a spotlight on talented deaf young people.”

Budding deaf artistes aged 8-18 have until 12 February to submit videos of their dance, drama, music or signed song routines. Lucky winners will then attend a two-day masterclass at the Ruddock Arts Centre, with coaching sessions by industry experts from Deafinitely Theatre, Music and the Deaf, Deaf Men Dancing and DeafFest.

Bryony Parkes from the National Deaf Children’s Society said: “With the right support, deaf children and young people can do anything their hearing friends can. Raising the Bar is all about making the performing arts more inclusive for the UK's 50,000 deaf children, and having high expectations so they can not just participate but really thrive.”

Molly Thomas won a place on last year’s masterclass and went on to receive a Junior Performer of the Year prize at the Devon Performance Awards. She said: “When I won I was like ‘Wow!’ I felt so proud. The masterclass was great; my skills really improved, especially my characterisation. Now I am going to study GCSE drama and feel much more confident.”

To watch Genevieve’s video and enter the competition, go to ndcs.org.uk/raisingthebar.