My son was the only deaf kid in a play. He was also the only 12 year old cast member. It was awesome. It was a Comedia Dell'Arte production which means there is a lot of improve. I posted about it in February.
Most hearing people around here have no concept of what goes on at the state school. They are left with only vague ideas they get from the news. The deaf kids live in a bit of a bubble. The state has strict rules and staffing is an issue so even after school activities are not open to hearing kids.
Well the reason this is on my mind is because today my son with his director and a high school cast member are going to the state school to teach a Comedia workshop to the theater class there. For years I have tried to find ways to get the kids opportunities to partner with hearing kids in the public school system and bring more arts to the school.
Yesterday I sat in on their rehearsal for a sketch they will preform to demonstrate this form of theater. It blew me away how they work together. The senior boy has learned enough sign to not use an interpreter. The director also has found a seamless way to work with him. His interpreter volunteered to help out and I loved watching how at home my son looked.
They took on the roles of Pedrolino (haddy) and Capitano. They created a 3 minute story about Capitano teaching my son to be like him. At one point Capitano does a ballet lift tossing my son about like a noodle. His dance classes have really improved his physical comedy. Haddy taught them the signs they needed and how to express concepts without specific signs but with gesture. For example instead of signing "beautiful Woman" he makes the shape of a rather curvy woman. It was cool for me to get a peek into what his school day looks like.
This morning Haddy got nervous. He will be teaching high school kids that he knows and feels a little worried they won't like comedia. I told him to just have fun. He always comes away from things that make him nervous in a state of pure joy.