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DEAF REPUBLIC: A Shadow Interpreted Visual Presentation
Created by Casey Miller
A new performance by Pones brings to life award-winning poetry through spoken word, dance, and sign language with shadow interpretation
Deaf Republic presents a collection of poems with the same name that has won numerous national awards, written by Ilya Kaminsky. The poems describe the military occupation of the fictional village of Vasenka, where villagers use Deafness and a novel sign language to subvert the military authorities.
Deaf Republic shows that Deafness is a source of strength, a long-held tenet of Deaf Culture. This visual presentation will demonstrate that strength to all audience members, Deaf and hearing alike.
Deaf Republic will combine the expertise of renowned director Gina Kleesattel, who has incorporated shadow interpretation into her work for over 10 years, and Pones, which has been developing novel productions and collaborative works since 2008.
American Sign Language (ASL) is a highly physical language, lending itself well to dance, and this innovative presentation will combine dance, shadow interpretation with ASL, and Kaminsky’s poetry.
Shadow interpretation moves beyond accessibility and into a new artistic space. Traditional interpreted performances force the Deaf audience to choose between the action and visual dynamics of the performance on stage in front of them and what the characters are saying as translated by interpreters who are often at the side of the stage. In shadow interpretation, interpreters are on stage, in costume, and integrated seamlessly with the cast to deliver dialogue next to the speaking character so that action and speech are connected. Shadow interpreters are complementary cast members who allow audience members to enjoy a truly accessible show.
Featuring Cincinnati actors Ian Timothy Forsgren, Eileen Earnest, Torie Pate Perdue, and Liz Smith in main roles, and Certified Interpreters connected through Cincinnati State’s Interpreter Training Program, we are thrilled to bring one of the first ASL Shadow Interpreted works to our region.
The Interpreter Training Program at Cincinnati State is a stepping stone toward competency in the field of sign language interpreting, including extensive coursework in American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf Studies. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of all types of interpreters is projected to grow by 4% through 2032 (as fast as the average for all professions), and demand for ASL interpreters is expected to grow rapidly as well.
This presentation is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the David C. Herriman Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, and the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr. Foundation, in collaboration with Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.
Cincinnati, OH 45223