Sunday, March 31, 2013

Photos of Def Meets Deaf Poetry Jam 5

On Saturday, March 30th, John Roche and I (Eddie Swayze) coordinated a 3 hour poetry/storytelling/performance show at Loving Cup. The crowd was in good numbers. Dangerous Signs started their skits doing Langston Hughes' poems - translated into ASL, ABC sign language acts (I joined them for the word ROBOT, acting as a robot), one original poem of mine "Bones", and they ended their skits with John Lennon's "Imagine" song in ASL. Hearing poets Wanda Schubmehl, Kitty Jopse, Catherine Feurot, and John Roche read their English poetry. Hearing RIT students performed under a group The RIT Slam Team and RIT poetry magazine Signature with 2 Signature Award winners reading their work. Deaf and hard of hearing performers came on: Vicki Nordquist doing her ABC storytelling, Matt Schwartz doing 2 signing-to-songs skits, Jojo Oberholtzer doing one signing-to-song performance, and Eddie Swayze (myself) performing his "Joyful Canine" poem along original electronic music, acting as a dog, and translating Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" poem into ASL. At the very end of the whole show, Luane Davis Haggerty had the audience participate along Dangerous Signs, using a hand shape, breathing in and out technique (theatrical warm-up), and encouraging the audience to throw their names, which few cast members in Dangerous Signs used their name letters to perform into objects or little stories, and so forth in ASL. 

There were great interpreters that helped the audience have access to both English and ASL. They were Miriam Lerner, Denise Herrara, Nora Beckestein, and few others. This kind of show is unique because it was combined with the deaf world and hearing world together by using English (the hearing performers) and ASL (the deaf performers) back and forth in which the interpreters were doing all along. It is rare to have an event that gives this kind of two world approach. The interpreters did a fabulous job.

All in all, this was a great 5th year show. DEAAF (Deaf Education of the Arts for African Families) had their donation jar and information materials set up during the whole show for the audience to donate, ask questions, join them as members, and so forth. DEAAF is a non-for-profit organization that funds and supports deaf and hard of hearing children in Africa to receive the education and school supplies that they need.

Here are the photographs for you all to enjoy.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Def Meets Deaf Poetry Jam 5

You can click on the picture of the flyer above to see the details in bigger size.

The exciting and interactive show of Def Meets Deaf Poetry Jam 5 is coming up on March 30th at Lovin' Cup near Rochester Institute of Technology/National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, NY. It will be from 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM, free to the public. There will be hearing poets/performing artists that will read or perform their work vocally in English. There will also be deaf/hard of hearing poets/performing artists that will use American Sign Language (ASL). Those performers will take turns on stage through out the show. The interpreters will help the hearing audience who don't read ASL by voicing the deaf/hard of hearing performers' work. They will also help deaf/hard of hearing audience who can't hear the spoken words when hearing performers do their readings. The combination of the deaf world and hearing world is unique and rare, henceforth, this 5th year interactions between hearing world and deaf world becomes once a lifetime true world. There will be all kinds of performances such as spoken words poetry, electronic music with poetry in translation into ASL, group interactive performances, songs translated into ASL, ASL storytelling, and a few more. The diversity of performance styles will give the show a rich taste of what can be seen as creative and experimental.

John Roche, RIT professor, and I (Eddie Swayze) have been collaborating this since 2009 and it's now our 5th year of doing this. This event was jammed with good numbers in the crowd last year, which grew in numbers since the beginning. 

RIT students poetry group called Poetry Slam will do their performance. Two Signature (RIT's annual poetry magazine) winners will read their work. Dangerous Signs will perform their interactive skits of ASL poetry. Four well-respected hearing poets will do their work and 6 great deaf/hard of hearing individuals will present their work in ASL. Lastly, audience participation will be encouraged on the stage to try out ASL performance techniques such as hand shapes and so forth.

Importantly, DEAAF (Deaf Education of the Arts for African Families) will be there to display their brochures, flyers, donations, and other information at the table during the show. They are a non-for profit organization that supports deaf/hard of hearing African children in Africa get the education that they need.