School for the Deaf to Perform ASL Version of “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”
Although there are many different stage versions of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, most of them are not designed to be accessible for the Deaf or hard-of-hearing. According to whyy.org, the original adaptation by director Daniel Brucker was written for specifically for American Sign Language (ASL), and features most of the high school students at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf as either actors or crew.
In the article, Brucker talks about some of the challenges of adapting the story for ASL:
“I had a vision of the different characters that they are not just acting out hearing roles, that they are actually deaf characters,” he said. So if the book said, for example, “We hear someone coming,” Brucker would tweak it. “A deaf audience wouldn’t actually resonate with that idea.”
The play will be performed on May 25th and 26th at First United Methodist Church of Germantown in Philadelphia, and the lines will be spoken aloud while the Deaf actors perform in ASL so the show is accessible for both Deaf and hearing audience members. Whyy News also posted a video containing interviews with some of the cast members as well as Brucker: