A Show of Hands—An Evening with the National Theater of the Deaf

By Jean F. Andrews

On Friday, November 13, 2015, at the University of Houston’s Jose Quintero Theater on campus, the National Theater of the Deaf entertained a mixed audience of hearing and Deaf members. They presented a show called “A Show of Hands.” Behind a bright green vertically slotted curtain, you could only see the hands of actors in bright pink gloves. With other Deaf and hearing actors on the stage, they created hilarious dialogue, created scenery, cracked jokes, and taught American Sign Language (ASL). The audience enjoyed poems, stories and jokes. My favorite was a signed poem about flowers. For the politically minded, there was also a skit about the hair of a politician with actors taking the role of the hair, the wind, and the politician. You can use your imagination to figure out how the story went. The actors performed in ASL with spoken words voiced over so it was a bilingual experience. The performance was delightful to see as shown by the frequent hand-wave applause of the audience and to hear the staccato giggles of the children in the audience throughout the show.

Jean F. Andrews is a Distinguished Professor Emerita of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education at Lamar University.

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