A Good Sign

14 Jul
Sharon and Chris

Sharon and Chris

The fact of the matter is Chris Felton, our sign language interpreter, and Sharon Cybart, the White Witch, had discussed it before but many productions don’t lend themselves to sign language interpretation. This time though, Chris looked over the script and felt it was workable. So not long after the rehearsals moved to the high school Chris started showing up with a script, a stool, and a watchful eye.

Then during tech week she sat in front of the stage on a short ottoman and proceeded to take on the role of all of the actors. Honestly, during tech week, I didn’t have much time to notice, I focused a few lights on her and we discussed the basic light cues I would use, but I was more concerned with the lights on stage.

Chris no longer carries her certification but still volunteers from time to time on occasions such as these. Chris taught in Madison for 40 years, interpreted for Deaf students at UW Madison, and has even signed the musical Annie at the Fireside Theatre and a poetry reading by the late Maya Angelou.IMG_2058

So on Sunday, when she took her seat in front of the stage and started interpreting the pre-show announcement, my finger was on the slider that ran her light. Her arms and hands moved fluidly through the scenes and when she placed her hands in her lap at the end of each, it was my cue to dim her light as well. For an hour and a half she interpreted while a dozen from the Deaf community got to see a show.

Chris taught the cast to sign both “thank you” and “I love you” before the show and the cast used them in the curtain call. And in return the members of the Deaf community that came signed “I love you” as the curtain closed.

While it may not rank up there with all of her accomplishments, Chris can now add that she is the first to interpret an Evansville production. And because of all of her hard work to be a part of this show, a group of people who don’t have many opportunities to enjoy theatre got a chance to do just that.

We’re very pleased that Chris will be there Friday evening (July 17) to do one more show.IMG_2074

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One Response to “A Good Sign”

  1. cpeckhayes July 15, 2015 at 1:13 pm #

    Kudos to all!

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