We’re a small, passionate and hard-working team united by our love of the arts, and our drive to make cultural events of all kinds accessible to deaf audiences.

We’re here to support arts organisations and venues of all sizes make their work available to the 12 million deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people in the UK.

Whether this is your first time exploring captions, live subtitles and digital subtitles, or if you’re a venue looking to improve your current provision and develop audiences, we look forward to hearing from you.

Melanie Sharpe

Melanie Sharpe

Chief Executive
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Contact me at

[email protected]

“I’ve been an actress, I’ve run education courses, I’ve worked in senior positions with Ovalhouse, The Albany, and Jackson Lane. Now, I’m so lucky to be working at Stagetext.

“Shaping our strategy and instigating real change in the way deaf access is delivered and received is not only exciting, but an absolute privilege.

“I work closely with organisations across the country to ensure that access is embedded from day one. I love working with such a dedicated team and am excited to see how much we can achieve together.”

Liz Hilder

Liz Hilder

Head of Insight and Development
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Contact me at

[email protected]

“My role at Stagetext is to develop funding applications for trusts, foundations, and statutory funders. I take the lead on research to support our advocacy, for example, research into the prevalence of subtitle use. I’m also the Deputy CEO, so I work closely with Melanie and lead the team if she is away.

“Before joining Stagetext I worked for Arts Council England and the other National Lottery funders, which has helped me to understand and develop our place as a charity within the arts. Now I’m thrilled to be here with Stagetext, working to ensure that no one is excluded from the arts.

“I enjoy going to live events and playing music, and I’m a trustee of Trowbridge Town Hall, an arts venue in my hometown.”

Rachel Jele

Rachel Jele

Head of Advocacy and Engagement
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Contact me at

[email protected]

Stagetext has had such a transformative effect on my life that I joined the charity as Head of Advocacy and Engagement. My role is to raise our profile and spread the word about Stagetext.

I’ve been partially deaf since a young a child and wear hearing aids and I’m passionate about using new technology to make the arts more inclusive and accessible.

I started my career at the BBC, where I worked as a broadcast journalist for both local radio and BBC online. Since then, I have worked across a wide range of sectors including the games and entertainment industries, the charity sector and education.

I am a marketing and communications specialist and have more than 20 years’ experience in private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

Oliver Webster

Oliver Webster

Head of Services and Systems
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[email protected]

“I went to Durham university and did a BSc in Psychology, worked for a stint in marketing, and then came to Stagetext. After four and a half years managing the digital subtitle programme, I’ve moved to the role of Head of Systems and Services.

As a deaf person from birth, and a fan of theatre for almost as long, Stagetext has been a critical part of my life for many years, long before I worked here. I’ve always had a passion for theatre and the arts, and was involved in productions both in and out of school, at the Chickenshed theatre, and Arcola Queer Collective.

It’s thanks to Stagetext that I’ve been able to enjoy the theatre for many years, and it’s incredible to be able to work within the charity, pushing for more accessible art every day.”

Emily Rose Salter

Emily Rose Salter

Theatre Programme Manager
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Contact me at

[email protected]

Since I was young, I have had a strong passion for theatre & the arts. I participated in many workshops, dramas, theatres, and youth clubs, as well as the annual summer Sadlers Wells Green Candle for the deaf. My family introduced me to Stagetext, with the first show I saw being Fiddler on the Roof at the Crucible. Since then, I have never gone to a show without captions.

Being profoundly deaf since the age of two and using a cochlear Implant, I communicate through both speech and sign language. Graduating from Reading University with a degree in Theatre Arts, Education & Deaf Studies. I progressed my career as an actor with my first stage debut at Nottingham Playhouse in collaboration with Ramps on the Moon. Since then, I have trained as a Trainee Assistant Stage Manager on the national tour of Tommy,  worked front of house, storyteller, workshop facilitator, and educator. I also love going to the theatre as an audience member!

Without Stagetext, I would not have had the same level of access to the career that I love.

Olivia Durkin

Olivia Durkin

Head of Training and Theatre
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Contact me at

[email protected]

“I studied Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds. I’ve always had a passion for theatre. Ranging from in-house projects for the Courtyard Theatre and with Interactive Theatre International on their show Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience.

“I’m 50% deaf, so working with Stagetext towards full access for deaf audiences is a great fit for me.”

Courtney Rudge

Courtney Rudge

Live Subtitling Programme Manager
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Contact me at

[email protected]

“I come to Stagetext from a museums and heritage background, having studied Archaeology and Ancient History. I’ve worked in the collections departments of various museums, helping to digitalise their collections.

“I’ve always been an advocate for increased access everywhere I’ve worked. I’m in the process of learning British Sign Language, having attained Level One.

“Through Stagetext, I’m excited to be able to give many more people access to museum/gallery events, tours and talks.”

Hannah Evans

Hannah Evans

Marketing and Admin Co-ordinator
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Contact me at

[email protected]

“I moved from Wales to London to study Moving Image at the University of the Arts and never left. My passion for theatre has grown over the years and it’s through theatre that I met my fiancé. I count myself as a regular theatre goer and do rely on Stagetext to fully immerse into the experience.

“My background in marketing and social media has been varied, from reviewing restaurants and events, to becoming the social media lead for a Deaf LGBT+ charity organisation called Deaf Rainbow UK, which I am a board member. Before this role I was the social media lead for UK Deaf Sport.

“I have a real passion for the arts and online work focusing on deafness and intersectionality. Stagetext fits in with my personal ethos and I am excited to show that with my work.”

Digital subtitling services

Digital subtitling services

Email

Contact me at

[email protected]

For any enquiries relating to our digital services, please contact Oliver Webster at [email protected]

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