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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: June ::
Re: Signed Shakespeare
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0505.  Tuesday, 7 June 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Charlie Mitchell <
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        Date:   Mondat, 6 Jun 1994 15:35:48 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: Deaf Shakespeare
 
(2)     From:   Stanley D. McKenzie <
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        Date:   Monday, 06 Jun 1994 18:21:00 +0000
        Subj:   RE: SHK 5.0500 Re: Signed Shakespeare
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Charlie Mitchell <
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Date:           Mondat, 6 Jun 1994 15:35:48 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Re: Deaf Shakespeare
 
For the graduate student looking for deaf Shakespeare references...
 
I recall an all-deaf production of *Macbeth* produced a few years back, I
believe, by Gallaudet.  It was presented at Ithaca College for the American
College Theatre Festival somewhere between 1985-89.  It was done entirely in
sign with musical accompaniment.  Most notable was Lady Macbeth whose visual
interpretation for pulling the child from her breast is an eerie image I have
never been able to shake.  There was an elaborate battle scene as well with the
only sounds being the grunts of soldiers and the crashing of swords on shields.
Quite jarring.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stanley D. McKenzie <
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Date:           Monday, 06 Jun 1994 18:21:00 +0000
Subject: 5.0500 Re: Signed Shakespeare
Comment:        RE: SHK 5.0500 Re: Signed Shakespeare
 
Although the National Theatre of the Deaf has not done a Shakespeare play, they
have done "Volpone" and other Elizabethan dramas.  The NTID Theatre (National
Technical Institute for the Deaf) here at the Rochester Institute of Technology
has done "Taming of the Shrew" (1974), "Romeo and Juliet" (1981), "Tempest"
(forget year, but a stuninng production), and "MacBeth" (1987), usually with
actors signing with simultaneous voice-over (sometimes by the same actor).
Gallaudet's Drama Department has done "Tempest," Othello," and "Hamlet."
 
My colleague Bonnie Meath-Lang at NTID was honestly surprised at the question
because there are so many deaf performances of Shakespeare among 200 deaf
acting companies around the world, the first in America possibly being a deaf
production of "Merchant of Venice" in Philadelphia in 1894 by the All Souls'
Working Club. Dr. Meath-Lang recommended consulting the "Gallaudet Encyclopedia
of Deafness and Deaf People," ed. J. Van Cleave, McGraw-Hill, 1987, under the
entries: Theatre, University; Theatre, Community; Performing Arts; and National
Theatres of the Deaf.  Also, Steve Baldwin's  "Pictures in the Air" (1994) has
just been published and is highly recommended.
 
          Stan McKenzie
          RIT
 

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