Together Beyond Sound: Deaf Culture Workshop

MCSD has realized that Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) dancers need more than just ASL interpretation; they also need non-deaf artists to understand how to teach and direct DHH artists.

Together Beyond Sound is a pilot Deaf Culture workshop intended to address concerns raised by the previous fall's pilot project Deaf Dance Crew Choreography Get-LIVE YouTube. With that project, MCSD came to the realization that DHH dancers require more supports than just ASL-English interpreters, specifically in the contexts of Deaf Culture and better communication. The goal of the Together Beyond Sound workshop was to address training non-deaf artists on how to teach and direct DHH artists, as well as showing the non-deaf artists how to create a environments and products that are respectful to DHH students, their culture, and their language.

Workshop Facilitators Shannon Guile (Hot Thespian Action & 100 Decibels: A Deaf Mime Troupe) and Joanna Hawkins (100 Decibels: A Deaf Mime Troupe) developed the content and facilitated the Deaf Culture workshop. Along with Jordan Sangalang, they shared their personal experiences, their discoveries, and the methods they used to create a successful, internationally recognized performance company initiated and directed by a non-deaf artist with all Deaf performers.

The workshop included information on:

  • Working with DHH artists within the Deaf culture
  • Tips and methods of training, rehearsal, and creation practices
  • Working with interpreters
  • Accessibility and respectful practices with DHH artists

20 people, Deaf and non-deaf alike, from the Manitoba arts community and the Deaf community attended the free three-hour workshop. An online survey went out to the participants; the reviews were favourable. Some suggestions were provided for future workshops, some of which will be considered.

Classroom photo by Leo Salgado

Gallery photos