Innovative Event Brings Music to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community

"Deaf West Theatre and LA Phil's Insight program collaborate to present 'See / Feel / Hear Music', a groundbreaking event celebrating the power of music for the deaf and hard of hearing community. This innovative concept showcases deaf artists and explores alternative ways of experiencing music."

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Bijay Laxmi
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Innovative Event Brings Music to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community

Innovative Event Brings Music to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community

In a groundbreaking initiative, the Deaf West Theatre has collaborated with the LA Phil's Insight program to curate a unique event titled 'See / Feel / Hear Music'. This innovative concept aims to bring the joy of music to the deaf and hard of hearing community through a series of presentations, conversations, and performances.

The event, which took place on [insert date], featured renowned deaf artists such as percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie and multi-disciplinary artist Christine Sun Kim. The day was divided into two sessions: a free afternoon session and a ticketed evening session, both of which were fully accessible to all attendees through the provision of ASL interpreters.

The primary objective of 'See / Feel / Hear Music' was to explore the creation and reception of music, the innate musicality of sign language, and the politics of sound. By bringing together deaf artists and the deaf and hard of hearing community, the event provided a platform for a unique and inclusive experience that celebrated the power of music beyond the traditional auditory realm.

Why this matters: This event represents a significant step towards making music and the arts more accessible and inclusive for the deaf and hard of hearing community. It highlights the importance of exploring alternative ways of experiencing and creating music, and the need for more such initiatives in the future.

The event is part of a growing trend of inclusive and accessible theater experiences for the deaf and hard of hearing community. Another notable example is Olney Theatre Center's production of Meredith Willson's 'The Music Man ', which features an ensemble and creative team of deaf, hearing, and hard of hearing artists. The production, which began performances on June 24, 2024, is performed in both ASL and spoken English, with open captioning for all shows.

The creative team behind 'The Music Man' includes several deaf artists, and the cast features a diverse ensemble of deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing actors. More than a dozen sign interpreters were employed during the rehearsal period to ensure seamless communication and collaboration among the team.

Sandra Mae Frank, a deaf performer, and Michael Baron, Artistic Director of Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, co-directed the production. "This is a historic moment for Olney Theatre Center and for the deaf and hard of hearing community," said Frank. "We are thrilled to bring this classic musical to life in a way that is accessible and inclusive for all audiences."

Key Takeaways

  • Deaf West Theatre and LA Phil's Insight program curated 'See / Feel / Hear Music'.
  • Event featured deaf artists Evelyn Glennie and Christine Sun Kim, with ASL interpreters.
  • Explored creation and reception of music, musicality of sign language, and politics of sound.
  • Olney Theatre Center's 'The Music Man' featured deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing artists.
  • Initiatives aim to make music and arts more accessible for the deaf community.