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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: March ::
ASL Productions of Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0182  Thursday, 16 March 2006

[1] 	From: 	Tom Bishop <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 15 Mar 2006 10:44:49 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0177 ASL Productions of Shakespeare

[2] 	From: 	Lindsey D. Snyder <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 15 Mar 2006 10:56:50 -0500
	Subj: 	SHK 17.0177 ASL Productions of Shakespeare

[3] 	From: 	Curt L. Tofteland <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 15 Mar 2006 10:59:55 EST
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0156  ASL Productions of Shakespeare

[4] 	From: 	Susan Oldrieve <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 15 Mar 2006 12:34:13 -0500
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 17.0177 ASL Productions of Shakespeare

[5] 	From: 	Colin Cox <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 15 Mar 2006 09:31:08 -0800
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0177 ASL Productions of Shakespeare

[6] 	From: 	Hardy M. Cook <
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	Date: 	Thursday, March 16, 2006
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0177 ASL Productions of Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Tom Bishop <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 15 Mar 2006 10:44:49 -0500
Subject: 17.0177 ASL Productions of Shakespeare
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0177 ASL Productions of Shakespeare

V. Kerry Inman (and others) might like to look at the website below. 
Cleveland Signstage does indeed perform simultaneously in spoken English 
and ASL, using both deaf and hearing actors. Sometimes the staging 
problems presented are complex. I recall particularly the scene in the 
"Comedy of Errors" where the two Dromios abuse one another with a wall 
solidly between them, a challenge for ASL. The  production solved the 
problem by seating another clown on the wall  who comically signed 
insults back and forth while, if I recall  correctly, swigging from a 
large jug of wine. Memory wants to say he then fell off the wall, but 
that may be embroidery. For more information, see:

http://www.signstage.org/

Members interested in ASL as a medium of Shakespeare performance might 
also look at:

http://www.usfca.edu/fpa/shakespeare/Project.html

Tom

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Lindsey D. Snyder <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 15 Mar 2006 10:56:50 -0500
Subject: ASL Productions of Shakespeare
Comment: 	SHK 17.0177 ASL Productions of Shakespeare

Cleveland SignStage and other companies often have secondary characters 
"voicing" for the Deaf or signing characters.  It is less interpreting 
and more "simultaneous acting."   IRT in NYC also does Deaf theatre 
productions including Shakespeare.  LuAnne Davis (at RIT/NTID I believe) 
has actually created a kind of acting/directing technique to facilitate 
productions in ASL and English.

I am currently writing my dissertation on ASL and Shakespeare, and am a 
font of random ASL and Shakespeare information.  I am happy to continue 
off-listserv discussion as well.

-Lindsey D. Snyder

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Curt L. Tofteland <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 15 Mar 2006 10:59:55 EST
Subject: 17.0156  ASL Productions of Shakespeare
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0156  ASL Productions of Shakespeare

Kentucky Shakespeare Festival first conducted Shadow Signed Interpreted 
(signers are blocked into the production) performances for the Deaf and 
Hearing Impaired for our production of Romeo and Juliet in 1988.

Over the past 18 years we have conducted many SSI productions.  If you 
are interested in a listing, please contact me off-line.  We also have 
video footage of the SSI performances.

Blessings,
Curt L. Tofteland
Producing Artistic Director
Kentucky Shakespeare Festival
www.kyshakes.org

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Susan Oldrieve <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 15 Mar 2006 12:34:13 -0500
Subject: 17.0177 ASL Productions of Shakespeare
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.0177 ASL Productions of Shakespeare

It might have been signed English; I'm not conversant enough to be able 
to tell the difference.  But I what they did was to have two actresses 
playing Titania.  One would speak the lines while the other would sign. 
  Both acted the part and it was like a dance to watch them work 
together. Truly beautiful.

I'm sorry my memory of the production isn't clearer-at the time I was 
simply absorbed in the production and enjoying the moment, not analyzing 
at all. And it was so naturally done that it was just like adding an 
element of dance to the production, so I had a tendency just to let the 
whole thing wash over me and to forget which actor was signing and which 
was speaking.

The Ohio Shakespeare conference also hosted the ASL Shakespeare Project 
at Kent State University, Stark Campus in the fall of 2002.  They were 
excellent as well and used some of the same techniques that I'd seen in 
Cleveland.  You can find their information at 
http://www.usfca.edu/fpa/shakespeare/Project.html

They use voice overs and speaking actors doubled with signing actors (I 
think), but their primary technique is to do a careful translation of 
the play into ASL and then perform it.

Anyway, if any of you ever has a chance to see a signed production of 
Shakespeare (or any other play) do it!  It is a wonderful whole body 
experience.

Susan Oldrieve
Baldwin-Wallace College

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Colin Cox <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 15 Mar 2006 09:31:08 -0800
Subject: 17.0177 ASL Productions of Shakespeare
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0177 ASL Productions of Shakespeare

 >Being fluent in ASL I find this difficult to believe.  How did they use
 >ASL and English, simultaneously or among different characters?  It is
 >impossible to imagine.  Are you sure it wasn't Signed English rather
 >than ASL?

I have used 'sign language' in several productions and I am about to 
embark on a production of Merchant in which Jessica will be 
hearing-impaired. Gobbo and Shylock will sign, and Lorenzo will learn it 
as he goes along!! The translations in such productions tend to be a 
combination of Signed English and ASL depending on the needs of the 
character and the verse.

Colin Cox

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Hardy M. Cook <
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Date: 		Thursday, March 16, 2006
Subject: 17.0177 ASL Productions of Shakespeare
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0177 ASL Productions of Shakespeare

A few years ago, The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C., offered a 
production of *Lear* in which the part of Cordelia was played by a 
hearing-impaired actor who signed all of her lines, which were 
subsequently translated by speaking members of the cast, most often the 
Fool.

It was an interesting take on Cordelia's absence of a voice:

Lear: 	 	. . . what can you say to draw
   		A third more opulent than your sisters? Speak.

Cordelia:	Nothing, my lord.

The production was unfortunately marred by the directorial choice to 
have the Fool dragged in with a noose around his neck at the line "my 
poor fool is hanged."

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