The National Deaf Children’s Society have launched the 2016 Raising the Bar competition, which encourages young deaf actors, musicians and dancers to showcase their skills.

The competition aims to raise deaf awareness through the arts, as well as helping young people enter into the scene.


Entrants need to submit a video of them performing by March 6 to enter.

Dr Who actress Sophie Stone, who was the first deaf student at RADA, said: “When I was young I always loved acting and I am so glad that deaf children and young people will get the chance to build on their skills and self-confidence in drama, dance or music.

“It’s so important that deaf children and young people get the same opportunities and support to get into the performing arts. For me, going to RADA was a wonderful experience which has led me onto playing some fantastic roles on TV and in the theatre.

“Raising the Bar’ will also demonstrate to the arts industry that making dance, drama and music accessible for everyone is so valuable. I really want all budding deaf actors, musicians and dancers to give it a go, send in their videos and get involved!”

24 young people aged between 8 and 18 will be chosen to take part in Raising the Bar, which will offer masterclasses and the chance to perform at a live showcase at Mac Birmingham.

The masterclasses will be run by Mark Smith, acclaimed deaf choreographer and artistic director of the all-male dance company Deaf Men Dancing, deaf actress Charly Arrowsmith who runs Deafinitely Theatre’s youth projects, and Danny Lane from ‘Music and the Deaf’.

Adam Butler won a place on last year’s competition for his drumming. He said “I was so excited when I found out I won a place on last year’s Raising the Bar completion. I learnt so much from the masterclass and now I want to become a music teacher when I’m older.”

The Masterclasses and live showcase will be taking place on June 18 and 19.

The Raising the Bar competition has been launched for 2016. For more information, click here.