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Cyrano in sign

March 19, 2012
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Poster for Studio Theatre & Deaf West's CyranoI was so excited to see this video from Fountain Theatre and Deaf West’s Cyrano, a modern Deaf/hearing reimagining performed in both spoken English and American Sign Language. Cyrano de Bergerac warmed and broke my fourteen-year-old heart, and after reading Oliver Sacks’ Seeing Voices, I got intensely interested in sign language and Deaf history and culture. And we all love a good fight.

The video features fight director Brian Danner, actors Troy Kotsur and James Royce Edwards, and — I think — interpreter Elizabeth Greene. They’re rehearsing the fight during which Cyrano extemporizes a poem; the most amazing moment is when, in this version, the sign for “At the final refrain, strike home!” dovetails with the beginning of the fighting. I want to see so much more sign language/stage combat crossover: the signs for “angry,” for “kill” and “scared” and “love” are all turning into fight moves in my head right now — perhaps as an experiment in alternative choreography?

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 15, 2012 4:41 pm

    This is such an inspiration! I wish I knew sign language so I could mix stage combat and sign language too, must be so poetic for someone who understands sign language to watch

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