Utah middle school features American Sign Language in theater production

Utah middle school features American Sign Language in theater production

SOUTH JORDAN – “The Lion King” came to life at Elk Ridge Middle School as hundreds of the hearing impaired watched a live musical performance with American Sign Language.

Along with traditional elements of theater like singing, acting, and dancing, each character was portrayed by two students. One student would talk and sing, while another student would sign. This is called shadowing.

The show was transcribed into sign language by Anne Fife and directed by her sister Kristie Wallace. They said they hope audiences will see how this type of theater can bring people together.

“I want to show that you don’t have to be hearing to be on stage,” Fife said.

“It doesn’t matter how we communicate with each other. It doesn’t matter how different we are. It doesn’t matter our cultural differences. All of us have limitless potential,” Wallace said.

The high demand caused them to add additional shows to sold out audiences. The directors said they feel proud to see their school paving the way for big changes in the theater industry.

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