Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Arts Express Seeks Inclusion of the Deaf and Blind Community in Theatre with Shrek The Musical Production

Posted By on Wed, Mar 30, 2016 at 1:15 PM

click to enlarge Samantha Moore  (ASL), Amber Shorter (ASL) and Jordan Grant (English) play the roles of Fiona in Shrek. - COURTESY OF ARTS EXPRESS
  • Courtesy of Arts Express
  • Samantha Moore (ASL), Amber Shorter (ASL) and Jordan Grant (English) play the roles of Fiona in Shrek.

Here's something different.

Imagine a fully staged production of the Shrek in musical form, complete with costumes and sets and lights. OK, that's easy enough. But when I say fully staged, I mean that the stage will be full of all kinds of students, including those from the deaf and blind community.

Not only will there be a full-voiced, full-sighted Shrek singing and dancing his way into our hearts, but shadowing that Shrek will be a hearing-impaired actor performing the same character in American Sign Language. This shadowing technique will be extended to most of the characters, and blind students will be in on the staging and singing as well.

This unique theater event will be given life by Arts Express, a nonprofit organization “dedicated to providing arts education and family entertainment,” says Karen F. Wiese, Executive Director. This is the third year they have done a musical. Last year it was Beauty and The Beast, and the first was Big River. These productions are a central feature of their Arts Express Building careACTOR program.

“We've seen some incredible things happen,” says Weise.

The program grew out of partnerships with Broadway in Tucson and UA Presents. A mixed group (hearing and deaf) went to see Blue Man Group several years ago, and after the performance students participated in a workshop focused on miming.

“A young girl said afterward that she had made a new friend who she didn't even know was deaf until after the workshop,” she says.

Weise says a light bulb came on and she realized that with the help of the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind, an unconventional approach to making theater could be nurtured by Arts Express.
It's an enormous undertaking, but it has an equally enormous impact. Bringing diverse student actors together allows them to see beyond how they have been categorized, and they learn to respect each other.

By combining synchronized speaking and signing, as well as music and dance, the group turns out a one of its kind production. And this, says Weise, is the only organization in the country doing this type of work.

Shrek The Musical plays this weekend on Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2 at 7 p.m., as well as Sunday, April 3 afternoon at 2 p.m. at the Berger Performing Arts Center (1200 W. Speedway Blvd.) on the campus of the ASDB. Tickets are $15 and they usually sell out. You can call for more information at 319-0400 or visit the Arts Express website

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Related Locations

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Previously in the Range

More by Sherilyn Forrester

  • Spring Arts Theatre: Troupe Movements

    Local theater companies tackle everything from Shakespeare to experimental plays—and we even get a performance of Cats.
    • Feb 14, 2019
  • Food for Thought: Two Trains Running

    ATC’s production explores black life in a Pittsburgh diner in the late ’60s
    • Jan 31, 2019
  • A Roguish Bard

    Star-crossed lovers, conniving matchmakers, fake deaths—just your usual Shakespeare romantic comedy
    • Jan 17, 2019
  • More »
Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Meditation and Buddhist study

Meditation and Buddhist study @ Sky Island Zen

Tuesdays, Saturdays

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Staff Pick

Menopause the Musical!

The cast of four fabulous women shop for laundry at a Bloomingdale’s sale, sing 25 songs about… More

@ The Gaslight Music Hall Tue., March 19, 6-8 p.m., Wed., March 20, 6-8 p.m., Thu., March 21, 6-8 p.m., Fri., March 22, 6-8 p.m., Sun., March 24, 2-4 & 6-8 p.m., Mon., March 25, 6-8 p.m., Tue., March 26, 6-8 p.m., Wed., March 27, 6-8 p.m., Thu., March 28, 6-8 p.m., Fri., March 29, 6-8 p.m., Sun., March 31, 2-4 & 6-8 p.m., Mon., April 1, 6-8 p.m., Tue., April 2, 6-8 p.m., Wed., April 3, 6-8 p.m. and Thu., April 4, 6-8 p.m. 13005 N Oracle Rd

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. Three Great Things to Do in Tucson Today: Monday, March 18 (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. 25 Great Things to Do in Tucson This Weekend: March 8 to 10 (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Claytoon of the Day: A Rising Threat (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Arizona Basketball: Sean Miller's Offseason of Discontent (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. 25 Great Things to Do in Tucson This Weekend: March 15 to 17 (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2019 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation