I love the theater, especially accessible theater, so when I read about a new show that would be performed simultaneously in English and American Sign Language (ASL), I was intrigued. There were two casts — the “main” cast speaking (and signing as it made sense in the plot) on the stage and a “shadow” cast on a balcony above the stage who signed the dialogue below. I was excited to see how it would work.
At the theater, the crowd was a mix of people — some using sign language and others speaking. It was a lively group. Reading through the program notes before the show, I was struck by the following quote: “As I Was Most Alive with You began to take shape, he [the playwright] vowed to tell this story in a way that would feel as accessible to Deaf audiences as hearing ones.”
That is a wonderful goal, and one that I think he achieved, but I couldn’t help but wonder, “What about the rest of us?”