Friday, June 4, 2010

Deaf Comedia at WSD

My last post was about how my mainstreamed Deaf son was going to the deaf school he used to attend with his theater teacher and a fellow student to teach a Comedia theater workshop.

Turns out I was the only one who wasn't nervous. My job was to interpret. I know the kids from the deaf school from years of volunteering and teaching and I knew what to expect. It is a very comfortable place for me. I was excited.

The hearing student from the art school told me on the way over he was nervous. I asked him why? He has been preforming in several art forms for years. This was going to be a short workshop. He tells me he is worried he can't sign good enough. Turns out he had a great time.

The theater teacher told me after that she was nervous before the workshop. This seemed odd because she is a professional actor and director. She was nervous about how to teach deaf kids. Funny, she has been doing a great job with my son all year. Turns out she was awesome. She fully connected with the deaf students. I needed to interpret very few times during the class.

Haddy didn't look nervous at all. That is how he works. He channels his nerves into his work. Several times he took over the class to explain what the teacher was showing them. He is a natural teacher. Even after 12 years his ASL still surprises me. He has such grace and connection with his body. Hearing parents, native signer, priceless. I hope that doesn't sound arrogant.

The deaf students looked shy and nervous but within minutes they were having a great time. They asked us to come back next year. They were so motivated and after the class they wanted to know more about Haddy's school. They wanted to learn more about theater and dance.

So next year we are going to try and set up a way for the two schools to have an ongoing artistic relationship. It took a lot of pushing on my part to get the deaf school to let us come but it was worth it to see the kids so excited. Next year we will be welcome with open arms and hands.

I didn't have time to take pictures but the one I got is of the teacher, me interpreting and of course Haddy. I probably don't need to mention he is wearing the mask The girls around us are students from the state school.

So Haddy was nervous but when it was over he was full of joy.


  1. Liz , remember little haddy who cam to show us stories in ASL for sign class? This is so much the same kid only bigger!