Black & Kinky Amongst Brown Waves


American Sign Language… for All!
August 29, 2011, 9:50 pm
Filed under: performance

Some professional theaters usually offer 1-2 American Sign Language (ASL) interpreted shows during a run. They offer a Friday night here and/ or a Sunday matinee there. For the full run if my one woman show, Black & Kinky Amongst Brown Waves, it is very important to me that each show have ASL interpretation. I thought it might be good to openly share some of the reasons why…


1. The Deaf community made this story possible

I have been interested in ASL since the 3rd grade when we learned to sign a song for a Christmas concert. The fact that I could expressively communicate with my hands and others could understand me was fascinating. I have taken classes over the years, but supervising 2 Deaf high school interns really helped me to deepen my learning about the language and the culture. It also inspired me to apply to Gallaudet University’s graduate Social Work program so that I could learn more about my profession while studying in an environment using the language I had learned to love. When I discovered that we could do our semester long social work internships overseas, the idea to study and travel in India was born. Gallaudet made it possible for me to go to India. For the rest of that story, you will have to come to the show! Tickets can be purchased here.

2. Cross-cultural understanding

In this country there are many opportunities for us to have cross-cultural experiences. The various racial, ethnic, language and identity groups that interact and bump into each other on a regular basis consistently create platforms for growth and understanding when we are not afraid. My story is about my navigation of a new country and culture and I wanted to make sure that that could also be experienced within the theater. The ASL interpreters are present for the hearing audience members as well as for the Deaf. Language access improves everyone’s experience as it creates new points of intersection and understanding.


3. The beauty of ASL

My hope is that during the production, audience members will be able to appreciate the beauty of ASL, if they do not do so already. There is poetry in the structure of sentences and the use of the face to indicate grammar and tense. There are times in the narrative when I sign or I am expressively silent because there are parts of my story that have to be shared in that way.

Your contribution to the Indiegogo campaign will help to cover the cost of interpreters each night. I could have sought our volunteers, but it is important to me to have accredited interpreters and to pay them for their service.
Even if you can not come to the show, your $5-$10 donation can go a long way towards promoting this opportunity for language access, cross-cultural understanding and beauty.
Thank you in advance for your support!

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