"As an actress I really struggled with theater and singing after I lost my hearing in 2012. I had the talent but lacked the confidence in my performance because I couldn’t hear the lines or music or sometimes even how I sounded. In 2013, I performed in Les Misérables at Cumberland County College. My director, Deb Bradshaw, and the cast were incredibly accommodating!
After that show I struggled with auditions - I can’t hear the casting director giving directions, I couldn’t always hear my music when I had to sing. Sometimes being in a hearing theater is extremely challenging and exhausting (constantly trying to lip read, shift my body to be able to see people’s mouths, guessing at the words they were saying).
I prayed for a place near me that had a theater that was accommodating to Deaf actors.
Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Kristy Whilden (a late deafened adult) who has a similar story to mine and faced the same struggles. She and her daughter created a theater where ASL and English are used in harmony. Actors voice and sign so both the Hearing and Deaf worlds are included! A theater where I don’t have to rely on my ears but can use my eyes to “hear”.
I am so blessed to have found the Hands Up Silent Theatre and look forward to working with them in the future! "
---- August 2021