BSL Technical theatre glossary

A great project has just been published online, which is to translate some of the most important terms from technical theatre into British Sign Language (BSL). Lead by Ali Pottinger and funded by Arts Council England, the glossary comes as a series of short videos, each on subject area; each term is translated along with a short explanation of what the term means. Eg: “Gels come in many colours and they’re used in general lighting. A gel is inserted into a frame, which is put into a lantern.”
The link is at

This is a great place to start for any stage manager / technician to learn a few terms in BSL – you never now when you might need them, and even if there is a translator to hand, they may not have necessarily the technical terminology or the context to translate any talk you might be giving.

The project in many cases had to invent new signs, and has the authority to regularise ones in existing use.

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