Edmonton Journal



Nestled within SkirtsAfir­e is Sound Off: A Deaf Theatre Festival, Canada's national festival dedicated to the deaf performing arts, which runs March 5-10 at the Fringe Arts Barns. Speaking Vibrations, one of the festival's main production­s running at the Westbury Theatre March 6-7, is told through ASL song and poetry, using percussive dance, movement, spoken word and song, with captions, vibro-tactile devices, and audio descriptio­n.

“It was really kind of serendipit­ous that we had this show called Speaking Vibrations coming from Ontario,” says artistic director Amanda Goldberg. “It's a very accessible show for deaf audiences, hard of hearing audiences, hearing audiences, blind audiences, deaf and blind audiences, just anyone. Sound Off seemed like it would be the perfect pairing. I hope to have more of these collaborat­ions down the road because we're all kind of the small festivals, so the more we can share our resources and support each other through combining efforts to bring really exciting projects to Edmonton, the better.”

Sound Off, curated by local actor, playwright and advocate Chris Dodd, will pull in more than 20 artists from across the country for the eighth iteration of the festival. In addition to Speaking Vibrations, the festival will be presenting five other mainstage shows: The Red Rose Bleeds — the story of a Deaf serial killer, Disorder — a hearing and Deaf dance collaborat­ion from Montreal, But the Truth Is ... — a large cast comedy and drama, Lumina, which features five deaf clowns from Montreal, and Theatrespo­rts: Sound Off Edition featuring both deaf and hearing improviser­s with no language allowed. Tickets range from free entry to pay what you can, available at soundofffe­stival.com.

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