Deaf Spotlight’s Short Play Festival

The saga continues!

Hello and welcome! Today I’ll be talking about my experience being involved with Deaf Spotlight’s Short Play Festival. First, for those who don’t know what Deaf Spotlight is, it’s an organization dedicated to celebrating and showcasing deaf culture and ASL through the arts. That can include film, theater, photography, painting, and so much more. They are currently doing a festival every year, alternating between film and theater. This year was the Short Play Festival, which had six ten-minute plays all written by deaf people. The majority of the cast(s) were deaf, the directors, stage managers, and crew all deaf. Unfortunately, I didn’t film much of anything, but I’ll show what I do have throughout this video. I was in one of the plays, called Civil Engagement. This story is set during the Civil War, and my character was a Confederate soldier.

I played opposite of Perseus McDaniel, who is a great storyteller and a blast to work with! He played a Union soldier, and we meet somewhere in the wilds. I was a scout, he was a mail carrier. We don’t trust each other at first, but once we discover that we’re both deaf, we connect and start becoming friends. That’s the gist of it.

Doing rehearsals for this, oh boy. I was still in LA when they started, so I had a few FaceTime rehearsals with Jules, my director, and Perseus. Immediately when I got back from LA, I had a few in-person rehearsals so I basically hit the ground running after my LA trip. Most of my rehearsals were just Perseus and me. There were two other actors but their role was very short, just at the very beginning and the very ending. It was still fun working with everyone! Some of our rehearsals would be in the same location and time as everyone else’s so I met most of the other actors through that. For those who don’t know, this is technically not my first time doing theater. Before this festival, the last time was in eighth grade, when I played Peter in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. So this was certainly a learning experience for me.

There were three directors, each one directed two plays. My director was Jules Dameron, and she’s an amazing deaf filmmaker. I’ve done a collab with her on this channel before, I’ll link it in places. It was fantastic working with her on this play, and I’m so glad I got to work with an experienced director like Jules! I also helped out as stage crew for the second half since my play opened the whole show and I wasn’t in any of the other plays. That was fun!

I definitely don’t mind continuing to be involved with theater, whatever role it’s in. The thing I love most about being part of theater is seeing behind the scenes, the process of creating characters, the evolution from cold reads to the stage. So I guess I’m kind of putting it out in the universe that I’m interested in doing more acting or theater work? Thank you to everyone who came to see all the plays, all of our shows sold out! We all appreciate you coming to support us! That’s it for today. Let me know if you have any questions down below.

Published by Rogan Shannon

Hello there! I'm Rogan, a queer deaf guy who has a passion for leadership and advocacy. I create YouTube videos about a lot of different topics - being deaf, queer, reading, language, and whatever else interests me!

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