This documentary film focuses on how Deaf Theatre has been produced, what the process has looked like, and how it has contributed to the arts. A controversial topic within the Deaf community concerning two presentation styles often labeled as Deaf Theatre and Sign Language Theatre will also be explored.
Matthew S. Moore
Director of Photography
Matthew S. Moore
and more . . .
The documentary film has the tentative title, “The Magic of Deaf Theatre: The Forgotten Stage”, which focuses on how Deaf Theatre is produced, what the process looks like, and how it has contributed to the arts. In addition, a discussion of the differences between Deaf Theatre and sign language theatre as a controversial topic in the Deaf community will be explored. Individuals will often debate the validity of both types of theatre, as well as the way it impacts the artistry of the production. Through research, interviews, and discussions, we will dive into this concept and give the world more to consider on this subject.
When considering the perspectives on Deaf Theatre versus sign language theatre, there has been an ongoing debate that still engages our attention today: what sort of vision should shape an ASL production? Is it sufficient to have ASL adaptations of “hearing” plays, or should the focus be on original works by Deaf playwrights? Does the necessity of having “voice” performers compromise the artistry of a production? Should the focus of these productions be on appealing to hearing audiences, since Deaf audiences are a demographic minority? If the majority of support comes from hearing patronage, should that influence the productions? What kind of performance signing should be used? What can be done to promote ASL theater that’s not dependent on pleasing hearing audiences? What can be done to promote new work by Deaf playwrights, especially works that express a Deaf perspective or experience? What happens if the theater is under hearing control? Can an independent ASL theater, geared toward the Deaf community, succeed? Is there such a thing as artistic independence? These questions provide a glimpse into the conversation we want to explore around this topic.