“The Show Must Go On!” But Where?: The Use of American Sign Language Interpretation in the Theater


“The Show Must Go On!” But Where?: The Use of American Sign Language Interpretation in the Theater
Nicole Bolstad
Faculty Sponsor
Sarah Hewlett
Gavin Keulks
American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting for theatre has three main placements of interpreters: platform interpreting, zone interpreting, and shadow interpreting. Each of these placements has its own positive and negative aspects, depending on the type of play and the scenic design. This will be addressed through a survey, literature review of articles, journals, and blogs. The final result will be the creation of an educational guidebook for directors and theatre companies about the various forms of interpretation. The intent is to provide a way to easily compare and contrast the placements according to different theatrical production demands. Other demands addressed will include the effects each placement has on audience members, the production team, and the theatre company. Some other aspects include the demands on the interpreters themselves with respect to prep-work, time spent in rehearsals, and production needs. Although this thesis will not be able to address every decision that goes into providing access for interpreted performances, it can be used to initiate the discussion by being a conversation starter for directors and theatre companies about the placement of interpreters, and the best match for their production. If successful, the findings can be applied to different theatres, productions, and even concerts. To improve both the Deaf consumer’s and the hearing consumer experiences.
Honors Thesis
Honors Program
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