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Commonwealth Shakespeare Company Inaugurates HandShakes ASL-English Shakespeare Interpretation Program

The HandShakes program will work alongside CSC's Summer Apprentice Program for actor training and culminates in the ASL interpreted performance.

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company Inaugurates HandShakes ASL-English Shakespeare Interpretation Program

Commonwealth Shakespere Company (CSC) has announced the establishment of HandShakes, CSC's ASL-English Shakespeare Interpretation Intensive program for Deaf- and hearing ASL/English interpreters and Directors of Artistic Sign Language (DASL)to enhance their skill set around heightened language.

Christopher Robinson, CSC's Access Advocate and Program Director for HandShake, states: "ASL interpreters and Deaf artists are undernourished in terms of places to be creative with their languages. There are so many benefits to an arts program like this; in fact, the heightened language of Shakespeare allows these students to enhance their skills across all settings where ASL interpreters work, including, but not limited to, the education, legal, and medical fields. It also provides a non-threatening way to talk about complex subjects, including diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility-we can learn to talk about things more effectively in this artistic form."

The HandShakes program begins on Friday, July 8th; for four consecutive Friday evenings and Saturday days, the cohort of Deaf interpreters and hearing interpreters will work with Lead Facilitators Christopher Robinson and Rachel Berman-Kobylarz to learn the ins and outs, the basics and the nuances, of translating and signing Shakespearean text. The HandShakes program will work alongside CSC's Summer Apprentice Program for actor training and culminates in the ASL interpreted performance of the Apprentice performance of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, directed by Associate Artistic Director Bryn Boice at Suffolk University's Modern Theatre, July 27-August 6.

To learn more, visit commshakes.org or call 617-426-0863.




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