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April 21, 2006

Gallaudet's theatre department presents "Much Ado About Nothing"

From: Gallaudet - Apr 21, 2006

Gallaudet’s theatre department presents “Much Ado About Nothing”

(WASHINGTON) Gallaudet University, the world leader in liberal education and career development for deaf and hard-of-hearing undergraduate students, and Amaryllis Theatre Company, a professional company in Philadelphia that works with Deaf and hearing actors on a regular basis, have partnered this year on a project to translate Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing into American Sign Language and co-produce the play in both cities with students and theatre faculty from Gallaudet and nearly a dozen professional actors from around the country.

The production will run at Gallaudet’s Elstad Auditorium April 20-23 and 27-30, then come to the Philadelphia area from May 9-21.

This production of "Much Ado" will be acted in synchronized American Sign Language and spoken English, making the show accessible to all audiences. Director Mimi Smith explains an additional perk that comes with this kind of performance: “We would expect the ASL translation to make Shakespeare available to deaf audiences; that’s the point. But what’s also interesting is that the combination of gesture and spoken English makes Shakespeare’s difficult language far more understandable to hearing audiences. It also creates amazing theatre.”

Several well-known actors are involved in the production, including Patrick Graybill. Graybill is one of the country’s most respected actors/educators in ASL Theatre who received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Gallaudet in the mid-1960s and worked with the National Theatre of the Deaf for fifteen years.

Good seats are still available for the production. And, now, getting tickets are a snap! Patrons can purchase tickets online with a credit card. (There is no additional charge for this service!) Gallaudet students and patrons paying by cash or check can reserve tickets online as well.

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