ASL in the Arts: San Diego International Fringe Festival 2016
This June, get ready for a one-of-a-kind performance, Gifts from my Deaf Father, by Windell (Wink) Smith at this year’s International Fringe Festival, June 27-July 3 at the Spreckels building in downtown San Diego. Performed entirely in American Sign Language (ASL) and interpreted to spoken English, Wink’s tale of his upbringing as a child of deaf parents (CODA) is set to capture the hearts, minds and spirit of audiences. Tickets start at 12 dollars and are on sale now.
According to the article Deaf Parents and Their Hearing Children*, children who can hear, but whose parents are Deaf, are both bilingual and bicultural. Some experts have feared that the cultural difference or fragile development of the child psyche may cause delayed language development in hearing children. However, children who are exposed to both the signing of ASL and grammar of English in fact do just fine.
On the other hand, hearing children who are not regularly exposed to verbal communication may be at risk of delayed spoken language development. In these circumstances play groups, time spent with hearing relatives, after school programs and the like are suggested to increase the child’s exposure, and compensate for the potential delayed speech acquisition rate.
Interestingly, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders’ statistics report that more than 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents, making the experience of the CODA particularly unique. See more statistics here.
Wink’s one-man show will highlight the emotion, struggle and joy he went through as a child entering the hearing world for the first time in kindergarten. The show is scheduled five times through the duration of the festival and is welcome to ASL and hearing audiences.
The San Diego International Fringe Festival is an international arts festival in which artists from across the United States and world gather to perform their craft, collaborate with others artists and promote the arts. The Festival is a project of Contact Arts, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit and is associated with the Actors Alliance of San Diego. For more information please visit www.sdfringe.org
Share this Post
*Singleton, J., & Tittle, M. (2000). Deaf parents and their hearing children. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 221-236. Retrieved from http://jdsde.oxfordjournals.org/content/5/3/221.abstract