Every Act!vated Show is performed in voice and ASL simultaneously.
Though we do not sign each and every word, we do sign the meaning of every line. The actors sign for themselves so the focus can stay on the action and is not split between interpreter and actor. If you know that Deaf/Hard of Hearing will be attending the show an interpreter is recommended just for added clarity.
Deaf/Hard of Hearing students are welcome to attend the pre-show workshop acting workshop. They will learn roles along side their hearing peers and perform in the show.
In addition to the show, "Hand Play" an interactive American Sign Language (ASL) workshop is available.
"The sign language was very helpful for the children who are acquiring the english language." ~Osmarys Ruiz, Whittier, CA",
Interview with the actors:
Q: Is anyone in your family deaf?
Q: Then, why do you use American Sign Language?
Because it's fun. It's an extremely expressive language which lends itself well to stage. Works well backstage too, where you have to stay quiet so the audience won't be distracted.
Q: How did you start using ASL in the shows?
When our hearing friends learned of our interest in American Sign Language (ASL) they would tell us about the time they went to a show and how they enjoyed watching the interpreter. Our deaf friends complained about missing the action because they had to watch the interpreter. So we came up with a solution. By having the actors use voice and sign language, we have brought the performance level to a new realm. And we are happy to serve as a bridge between two cultures.
Q: How did you learn ASL?
Well, Kimberly started in grade school, reading books - like The Joy of Signing, and then started taking classes in San Francisco after graduating from high school. When you learn any language you reach a point when you want more than books and classes so, she found a deaf community to hang out with. Dennis started because Kimberly made him, and he always does everything his wife tells him to (yeah right).
Q: Do you sign in every show, even if there aren't deaf in the audience?
Yes. We want to let everyone know ASL is a language that anyone can use. It helps people learning English know what is going on. And we've discovered that it captivates the "stroller-set".
At Your Library
Check out ASL books at your library in the 419 section. Look for titles such as the Joy of Signing and more.