Saskatchewan

Regina group hopes to head to first-ever deaf theatre festival

Group aims to raise $14,000 by mid-December

Regina group hopes to head to first deaf theatre festival 1:01

 shares

A trip to Edmonton might not mean much to most, but for the "Deaf Crows" it's the trip of a life time.

"Deaf Crows" is a one-act group in Regina that's hoping to go to Edmonton for the first-ever deaf theatre festival in Canada, Sound Off. They've received their invite and now all that's left to do is raise the money to get there. 

The group sold out of all of their shows in Regina, and left the audience in tears. 

"I think it was the first time the complex issue around educating a deaf person to become part of the hearing world really came out," said Joanne Weber, the only deaf teacher for deaf students in Saskatchewan.

"What the students were able to really express is their experiences of what it's really like for them to go to school and try to be able to hear and speak and listen."

Deaf Crows

Joanne Weber (left) and Chrystene Ells (right) hope to be the ones to headline Canada's first ever deaf theatre festival. (Sheila Coles/CBC)

Weber said that the play helped people understand the struggles of deaf students and how to best support them. 

"The whole community just sort of rallied around it," Weber said. 

The play was meant to be accessible to both the hearing and the deaf, said Chrystene Ells, the artist in residence at Thom Collegiate.

In the play, the audience watched a deaf elder, Allard Thomas, relate the history of the deaf community in Saskatchewan to the audience while people to the sides of the stage voiced what he was signing. 

"In some places in the play, we did not interpret with voice," Ells said. "We left some holes for the hearing world to have the sense of what it's like to miss some of what's being expressed."

Scenes in the play were inspired by students' recounted memories of moments of bullying and isolation in schools.

"There were a lot of tears," Ells said. 

Students would bond over their shared experiences, which they did not know other deaf people struggled with prior to seeing the scenes acted out. 

The group's gofundme goal is to raise $14,000. They have raised $2,000 so far and hope to reach the goal by Dec. 15. 

Tune into The Morning Edition at 8:15 to hear more!

Click here to learn more about the group.

More On This Story