Jill Bradbury Headshot

Jill Bradbury


NTID Department for Performing Arts
National Technical Institute for the Deaf

Jill Bradbury


NTID Department for Performing Arts
National Technical Institute for the Deaf


Jill Bradbury holds BA degrees in Economics and English from the University of California, Irvine; an MA in Economics from George Mason University; and an MA/PhD in English from Brown University. She has received multiple national, state, and regional grants to support Deaf and DeafBlind theater. These include grants from the National Endowment for the Arts for a bilingual production of Titus Andronicus, in collaboration with Play On Shakespeare, and for a 2023 Big Read focused on Ilya Kaminsky’s Deaf Republic. Bradbury also received a three year grant from the New York State Council on the Arts to support Protactile theater activities by/for the DeafBlind. She has served as project director for the DC stop of First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare national traveling exhibition sponsored by the Folger Shakespeare Library (2016), for which she co-curated the exhibit, Shakespeare in American Deaf History. Publications include the collaborative essay "Protactile Shakespeare: Theater by/for the DeafBlind," Shakespeare Studies 47 (2019); “Audiences and ASL in Shakespeare Performance,” Shakespeare Bulletin 40.1 (2022); "Disability Embodiment and Inclusive Aesthetics," in Inclusive Shakespeares: Identity, Pedagogy, Performance (2023). With RIT colleague Andy Head, she co-authored Staging Deaf and Hearing Theatre: A Practical Guide (forthcoming Palgrave 2025). Her work has been featured in a Folger Shakespeare Library podcast on Shakespeare in Sign Language (2016) and in Humanities, the Magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities (2021). 

Select Scholarship



Staging Deaf and Hearing Theatre: A Practical Guide. Co-authored with Andy Head. Forthcoming. Palgrave 2025. 

Selected Journal Articles and Book Chapters

 “Open Thy Deaf [Eyes]: Sound in ASL Shakespeare.” Forthcoming in The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Sound, ed. Carla Della Gatta and Simon Smith. Cambridge, 2027. 

 “Deaf Actors and Shakespeare.” Forthcoming in The Idea of the Shakespearean Actor, ed. Sally Barnden, Emer McHugh, and Miranda Faye Thompson. Bloomsbury. 2025.

“Deaf Theater in the 21st Century: Directions and Dilemmas.” Forthcoming in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature, ed. Sonya Loftis. Oxford, 2024.

“Disability Embodiment and Inclusive Aesthetics.” In Inclusive Shakespeares: Identity, Pedagogy, Performance, ed. Sonya Loftis, Mardy Philippian, and Justin P. Shaw. Palgrave, 2023. 

“Audiences, American Sign Language, and Deafness in Shakespeare Performance.” Shakespeare Bulletin. 40.1 (2022): 45-67.

“Protactile Shakespeare: Inclusive Theater by/for the DeafBlind.” Primary author with NEA Art Works grant participants. Shakespeare Studies 47 (2019). 

“Response to Robinson, Carol. ‘Go Ask Alisoun: Geoffrey Chaucer and Deafland (deafness as authority).’” Co-author. Literature Compass 15:6 (2018).


Research Grants in the Arts ($99,750) for Effectiveness and User Experience of Live Theater Captioning. National Endowment for the Arts. 2024-2026. Lead PI; Co-PI Janine Butler.

Support for Organizations ($148,500) for DeafBlind Performing Arts. New York State Council on the Arts. 2023-2026. 

Rochester Area Community Foundation ($15,000) for Bilingual Titus Andronicus with Play On Shakespeare. National Endowment for the Arts. 2024.

Grants for Arts Recipient ($25,000) for Bilingual Titus Andronicus with Play On Shakespeare. National Endowment for the Arts. 2023.

Vitality Fund ($5,000) for Immersive Hamlet and DeafBlind Access.  Rochester Area Community Foundation. 2023.

Theater Access Fund Plus ($5,000) for Performance Captioning. Theatre Development Fund. 2023.

NYSCA Regrant ($5,000) for Protactile Children’s Play Planning. Rochester Area Community Foundation. 2022.

Big Read Grant Recipient ($20,000) for Deaf Republic. National Endowment for the Arts. 2022.

Grants for Arts Recipient ($25,000) for Protactile Children’s Play. National Endowment for the Arts. 2022.

Covid-19 Relief Funding Grant Recipient ($218,000) for Deaf Performing Artists Master Class Series. National Technical Institute for the Deaf. 2021.

Anti-Racism Scholarship Grant Recipient ($15,000) for Anti-Racism in Deaf Theater Online Convening. National Technical Institute for the Deaf.  2021.

Art Works Grant Recipient ($25,000) for DeafBlind Theater Initiative. National Endowment for the Arts. 2017.

Other Significant Scholarly Work

Thy Name is Woman. Immersive stage adaptation of Hamlet, by William Shakespeare. Co-created with Andy Head and Alexa Scott-Flaherty. 2022-2023.

Project Director, Big Read: NTID. Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts' Big Read Initiative.April 2023. 

Stage adaptation of Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky. Produced at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology. April 2023.

Art, an Insurgency. Work Inspired by Deaf Republic. Exhibit co-curator with Pamela Kincheloe. Ohringer Gallery, Dyer Arts Center. National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology. April 2-28, 2023.

Protactile Shakespeare: Theater for the DeafBlind. Documentary film. Director, writer, and editor. Produced by Gallaudet Video Services. 2019.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btB_nePm860 

Shakespeare in American Deaf History. Exhibit co-curator with Meredith Peruzzi. Jordan Art Gallery. Gallaudet University October 7-30, 2016.

Project Director, District of Columbia Host Site for First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare Traveling Exhibition sponsored by Folger Shakespeare Library, American Library Association, and Cincinnati Museum Center. 2016.

Currently Teaching

3 Credits
This course introduces students to the theory, history, and practice of accessibility and inclusion in theatre and dance. Course readings will explore relevant concepts from performance studies, deaf and disability studies, and universal design. Students will develop critical perspectives on issues of representation such as authenticity in casting. Students will also learn about theater and dance companies focused on accessibility and inclusion, examine various approaches to creating accessibility and inclusive performance, and consider artistic and aesthetic questions raised by such performance. Students will also explore accessibility and inclusion in performance through artistic practices such as movement exercises, creative captioning, and non-dominant sensory storytelling.
1 - 3 Credits
The description will be specified on each Independent Study Contract.
3 Credits
This course fosters the understanding and appreciation of artistic sign language for theater, film, television, and video productions. Topics considered include the relationship between script and translation, principles of artistic sign language for stage vs. film/television, integrating Deaf and hearing performance, and accessibility advocacy. Assignments include critiques of artistic sign language in various genres from the director of artistic sign language (DASL) perspective. Due to the nature of this subject, instruction is in ASL and voice interpreters will not be provided.
1 - 3 Credits
This course applies technical, performing, script analysis, stage management, and other skills to an actual theatrical production. Students contract with a department mentor for responsibilities and the appropriate credit expectations. In addition to production responsibilities, students are expected to complete reading and writing assignments connected to the production. This course is repeatable for credit.
3 Credits
Playwriting I is an intensive exploration of writing for theatre. Areas of study include the major parts of the dramatic text such as plot structure, action, dialogue, and character development. Professional stage play format will also be covered. This is a workshop style class, in which students learn primarily through their own design projects and peer/instructor critique. Students will write scripts for multiple short scenes and 10-minute plays, revising frequently based on peer and instructor feedback. Students will also read, view, and discuss short plays by Deaf and hearing writers. This course is designated as Writing Intensive.

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