Rāhera (Rachel) Turner
Company Manager/NZSL Creative Consultant
Rāhera’s whakapapa includes tupuna from Waikato/Tainui, Te Patupō and Tūwharetoa.
Rāhera is our company manager, and is also our NZSL Creative Consultant, working closely with the creative team.
She organises and helps to manage our many different projects, including our performances, tours and our community workshops.
She has a keen eye for detail and loves playing with the language options that NZSL provides. She works with international Deaf artists to ensure the language choices on stage are in the hands of a first language NZSL user. Rāhera is passionate about raising the profile of signed languages on stage, and supporting Deaf performers and Deaf audiences.
Rāhera leads the company’s Deaf Awareness workshop programme, teaching artists, arts organisations and theatres about Deaf culture, Deaf world view, and teaching NZSL. She is a qualified NZSL tutor and brings her warmth, openness and language and cultural expertise to these sessions. These workshops can support your organisation to be better placed to welcome Deaf patrons. Contact us to book a workshop for your team.
Rāhera has lectured at Universities in Aotearoa and overseas about Equal Voices Arts’ approach to making original bicultural and bilingual theatre work and has appeared on international video podcasts discussing access and inclusion. Rāhera also consults with government organisations and arts organisations about how to make funding opportunities and events more accessible for D/deaf communities. In addition to serving several terms on the NZSL Board, Rāhera has also served as project co-ordinator for Teach Sign (adapted for Māori Deaf and Te Reo settings, and she is the Facilitator for Rōpū Kaitiaki (the Māori Deaf Advisory Group).
Another project keeping Rāhera busy is an internationally funded research project designing an accessible embodied mindfulness research practice for Deaf and hearing artists. Rāhera is part of a research team on Dr Laura Haughey’s European Commission funded project which is designing culturally and linguistically accessible moving mindfulness practices, to support both general wellbeing, and also to become the foundational actor training practice for our Deaf and hearing artistic team.