The American River College production “The Deafhood Monologues,” which featured an all-Deaf cast who signed all of their lines, was a beautiful attempt to form a connection between those who are able to hear to the Deaf community.
The production also featured voice-overs for those who cannot interpret American Sign Language.
At first, the voice-over was slightly off putting because of the short delay between the actor signing and the voice actor speaking. However, it became easier to adjust to as the play progressed.
Sophia Brunton and Jasmine Harris delivered gut wrenching performances.
Sophia Brunton portrayed a girl who undergoes a surgery where a doctor punctures her ear drum in hopes that she would be able to hear, while Jasmine Harris acted as a child whose mother who chops off her fingers so that she can no longer sign.
“The Deafhood Monologues” is partly inspired by the “The Vagina Monologues” by Eve Ensler, with the most obvious correlating piece being “My Angry Deaf Body,” a play off of the originally titled “My Angry Vagina.”
“Deafhood” does not only talk about villains who have caused harm to the Deaf community.
Near the end, a character is featured that shows the audience who to model after if they want to become an ally to those who are deaf.
A monologue by Antoine Hunter featured him describing an aunt who supports him throughout his life, and accepts him even though he is both deaf and gay.
With such strong performances all across the board, it would be great to see more productions from ARC’s deaf community.
The only complaint that can be made about “The Deafhood Monologues” is that it only showed twice at ARC. Both showings sold out.