School plays are the norm at pretty much every type of school. Students get the chance to participate and sing and act in some of the most famous plays, like Romeo and Juliet, which The Community College of Aurora in Colorado is currently producing.
Started with personal desires to incorporate the deaf students into the dramatic arts, the school is translating the classic words of Shakespeare into American Sign Language. The words of Shakespeare can be challenging enough on their own, but translating them is even more of a challenge for these students.
In this particular production, the family of Romeo will be hearing while Juliet’s will be deaf. The conflicts between the two families will stem from communication and language differences, which not many productions have dealt with before. This new twist on a classic tale will give both actors and audiences a new perspective.
Casting deaf actors gives more students more opportunities to participate in the arts. This show will feature onstage interpreters, or “shadow” players as well as students reciting the original lines. This gives the different actors the chance to recite lines, sign them and perform on the stage all at the same time.
Plays that combine sign language with speaking lines can really unite the two different forms of communication. It can also give young deaf actors the confidence and practice they need to start acting, which can lead to a new hobby for many of these students. Showing all students that it is possible to do whatever it is they put their minds to can help open up a world of new possibilities for them.
Picture By: LM Inglis Photography