PCS Blog

Welcome to the World of Theatrical Sign Interpreting

Posted by KatieO | 14 September 2012

Above, interpreter and sign coach Justin Coleman introduces the ASL program at PCS.

The signing members of the access team here at Portland Center Stage are excited to get this season going! We're looking forward to the line-up of plays and a couple of different approaches this season. We're also welcoming back a couple of interpreters who took some time off from theater, as well as a couple of new additions.
I'm Dot Hearn and I coordinate the signing access teams. I'm a sign language interpreter, writer, coordinator and mentor and I will be writing blog posts for PCS throughout the season. Some of the posts will be general information about theatrical interpreting, some will be specific to upcoming productions, and some may even include interviews with the interpreters and sign coaches about their process on a particular show.
For now, I wanted to welcome members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community to PCS' 25th anniversary season and highlight a few upcoming events.
This season, PCS is continuing the Deaf Theater Chat, which starts at 6:30 p.m on the night of interpreted performances. When the plays are on the Main Stage, the Deaf Theater Chat will be on the mezzanine level (up the staircase). When the play is in the Ellyn Bye Studio on the lower level, the Deaf Theater Chat will held in the lobby. At Deaf Theater Chat, you can meet the interpreters and the sign coach, and learn a little more about the play you're about to see and some of the particular signs they will be using, such as sign names. Light snacks and a beverage are provided. The cafe and bar on the main floor will also be open if you'd like to purchase a meal, a latte or a drink.
Two of the plays this season will have "extended" interpreting teams and one of them has an additional interpreted matinee.
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare will be interpreted for both the matinee and evening performances on December 6. Immediately following the matinee there will be a "Talk Back" discussion with some of the cast and crew members, which will also be interpreted. It's also exciting that we will be using a team of four interpreters for this play. Definitely not to be missed!
The other play is The Whipping Man in March 2013. This is a play with three characters and we will be using a three-person interpreting team. This drama takes place post-Civil War and explores the shared history of the three characters.
More to come, but for now, welcome! The interpreters and sign coaches are looking forward to seeing you at the theater!
Comments (2)

Hi Katherine,

While we encourage you to bring interested children to the theater, as a courtesy to other patrons and actors we unfortunately do not admit anyone under the age of six years to performances at Portland Center Stage. There are, however, several excellent children’s theaters in the Portland area, including Oregon Children’s Theatre and Northwest Childrens Theater.

We do hope you’ll be able to join us this season for one of our ASL performances! The full list of dates for the season can be found at pcs.org/access.

Thanks so much for your interest!

- Kinsley Suer, PCS

  • Kinsley Suer
  • 09 Oct 12 11:05

Hi, I would like to watch and mingle.  I am an ASL student at PCC and am wondering, due to the hour of the show, if children are allowed or if not.  If they are how much do children under the age of 4 cost?  Do you have any other productions early or for children?  I will mention this show to my instructor. Thank you

  • katherine
  • 09 Oct 12 09:45

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