#throwback: SDEA Theatre Arts Conference 2017


I had always wanted to share my learning experiences about this event, and finally I posted this blog entry today!

I was the only Deaf participant there, with the sign language interpreter accompanying me for 2 full days. I consider myself as the art practitioner in Deaf ways, and I’m exploring different possibilities for my future Deaf Singapore Theatre. In the meantime, I’m the trainee with Project Tandem led by Mr. Peter Sau. If you wish to know more about this project, you may check this link out.

For the first time, I came to know different methodologies, research and experiences from hearing practitioners. I remember that Dr. Julie Dunn’s concept of children’s dramatic play was popular among the participants. I had no chance to attend her session at that time. Her studies has shown that the concept could possibly contribute to imagination, creativity, language development and narrative skills. Technology should not be included in it.

I remember two sessions by Ms. Nazreen Osman, and Ms. Kang Chee Hui (from SACSS) respectively. Ms. Nazreen shared her experiences on integrating drama into her school’s English Language curriculum/syllabus. This was quite eye-opening to me, though it may be common to the others. Ms. Kang got her students to showcase their performance about how social media affects relationships among the students.

After I learnt about the conference, I feel that there are some possibilities to apply the “mainstreamed/hearing” tools in Deaf ways…

What do I mean by the Deaf ways of theatre arts? These ways revolve around sign language that is visual and gestural. Yet linguistics. This could have similarities with mime or physical theatre. Beyond that, it adopts visual vernacular that is “a theatrical art form of physical expression, storytelling with strong sense of body movements, iconic signs, gestures, and facial expressions” (Ishtiaq, 2016).

At this moment, Mr. Peter mentors me for his project. I learnt many new things from his team, and I have been grateful since then.


DISCLAIMER: The author of the above article is the founder & director from ExtraOrdinary Horizons, and she is bilaterally profound-severe Deaf. All opinions expressed herein are thus the personal views of contributing individual authors. They are not indicative of any endorsement, political or otherwise, or lack thereof, either on the part of the organisation.