Deaf Centre Manitoba (DCM), Inc. is a non-profit Charitable organization which recognizes the value of Deaf Culture and American Sign Language. The purpose of the organization is to coordinate and/or provide resources, and programs that enhance the development of the Deaf community.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
100 Decibels: A Deaf Mime Troupe
Deaf Mime Troupe
Makes No Apologies
“Hearing loss of 100 decibels is equivalent to
deafness” – American Medical Association
Decibels: A Deaf Mime Troupe will make their Fringe debut at this year’s
festival. Composed of four entirely deaf artists, the troupe’s mission is to
help bridge the gap between the deaf and hearing communities through highly
skilled mime storytelling.
are artists first and foremost. They happen to be deaf but they make no
apologies to that effect,” said Shannon Guile, a member of the nationally
renowned sketch comedy troupe Hot Thespian Action. “The medium of mime allows
them to communicate with the hearing community in an unprecedented way. It’s
beautiful to watch these connections happen for the first time.”
specialist in mime and physical comedy, Guile has been working with the troupe
for over two years as part of a pilot project through the Manitoba Cultural
Society of the Deaf. Under her training and mentorship, the troupe has wowed
audiences during performances at Deaf Centre Manitoba and a conference for the
Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada.
quality of the troupe’s performance is staggering,” said Guile. “It’s
incredible how well the expressive nature of sign language lends itself to
mime. They are amazing storytellers who have finally found the perfect medium.”
members Jordan Sangalang, Joanna Hawkins and Christopher de Guzman all
currently live in Winnipeg but originally hail from Poland and The Philippines.
In creating their fringe show ‘Can You Hear Me Now?” they drew upon their
diverse backgrounds, experiences and senses of humour to create a series of
sketches that range from slapstick to heartbreakingly poignant. As their
director and mentor, Guile helped shape their stories, as well as other stories
gathered from other members of the deaf community.
of the sketches are rooted in comedy, but it was also our priority to
communicate the deaf experience to our audience,” said Guile. “The show is
primarily entertaining, but audiences shouldn’t come in thinking this will be
some cute little mime show. These guys are extremely talented and they take no