Tribes: Breaking Down Barriers
Welcome to Suzanne Martin's Personal Fundraising Page!
I believe that accessibility is a two-way street—as hearing people it is easy to think we are accommodating a disability however we are in fact getting an opportunity to experience a new language and culture.
As a hearing Anglophone I am part of the most linguistically privileged group in the world. By that I mean that, whether consciously or otherwise, I assume a right to understand and be understood almost everywhere I go. But while I take my ability to communicate for granted I also miss out on the rich nuances and new world views that are possible in other languages and when multiple languages intersect. Whether hearing, deaf, Anglophone, francophone or polyglot, our experiences are shaped by our languages so when we limit our language we limit our capacity for thought.
I invite you to join this campaign to increase our collective ability to communicate with each other!
The Department of Drama at the University of Alberta is seeking support for the production ofTribes.
This unusual but very important play introduces a perspective not often witnessed on stage. Written by Nina Raine,Tribes revolves around Billy, a young deaf man whose family has taught him to lip-read and speak. They have refused to learn any form of Sign Language, and are intent on keeping him away from the Deaf community. When Billy is finally introduced to Sign, a whole new world of communication and community opens up for him. Tribes explores the triumphs, dilemmas and familial conflicts that accompany Billy's discovery of his true identity.
Billy is played by Connor Yuzwenko-Martin, a local Deaf actor with a passion for American Sign Language (ASL) advocacy. We are hoping this play opens up dialogue about accessibility, the Deaf community, and how we can take action to provide a more inclusive space in the theatre. The hearing audience has a lot to learn from this production. The exposure to ASL creates a richer and more diverse community, which can only expand the artistic scope of theatre.
To make rehearsals possible, we have enlisted the help of a fantastic group of professional ASL interpreters who work very hard to facilitate communication between all of us.
We will have live ASL interpretation for at least two performances of the ten scheduled. Your support will go towards the additional production costs of interpreters for these performances.
Our goal is not only accessibility for Deaf audiences, but to enhance awareness in the community at large. This is an essential part of the production, and the guiding mission for our Tribes team. We hope this initiative can set a precedent in the Edmonton theatre community, encouraging future productions to consider this form of inclusivity.
In performance, the play is fast paced and sometimes chaotic. An essential part of the making performance accessible is to rehearse with the interpreters and incorporate them into the staging.This takes time and coordination on a large scale. Bringing Tribes to the Edmonton community is a unique challenge, since we are staging a play about Deafness in a predominantly hearing world.
We want to do this properly, which is why we have recruited NICA Consolidated (Network of Interpreters, Consultants and Advocates) to be our interpreter team.
The interpretation element is in addition to what would normally be in the budget for the production. This is why we are asking for your help! Most theatre productions do not provide fully accessible performances; accessibility is more than a wheelchair ramp. Our hope is that the results of this campaign open the door to progress in understanding the needs of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing within the theatre community.
We are looking to raise $5,000 toward this additional production costs. Our generous interpreters are making Tribes truly accessible to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing audience in our city.
The MFA students who are taking part in this unique education experience are Amanda Bergen (MFA Directing) and Robyn Ayles (MFA Design). They are directing and designing this fully accessible production.
Her team members have contributed hundreds of hours as well. All this generosity has allowed Tribesto be accessible to the d/Deaf community as well as making it possible to have Connor Yuzwenko-Martin as a cast member.
Without these incredible women, the cost of this important project would have exceeded the budget of the production. These additional costs would likely have stopped this project from moving ahead.
Nicole and her team realized the value of Tribes and its ability to draw attention to the issue of accessibility of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The $5000 we are raising for Nicole and her team is a small percentage of the total value of their time! Many of these interpreters balanced their full time jobs, family, and other responsibilities to create this opportunity for so many to experience.
With less than a week left we are at 78% of our goal, help us raise the remaining amount through sharing and if you can, donating. We all thank you for your efforts!
Thank you to our supporters! With your help we are well on our way to reaching our goal. We have had our preview and tonight is opening night! Here is a photo of Connor Yuzwenko-Martin and Bobbi Goddard, playing Billy and Sylvia. If you want to read more about Connor's experience as a Deaf actor in Tribes,check out his blog here http://yuzmarconnor.com/2015/04/29/deaf-accent/
(Photo by Ed Ellis, Set/Light/Costume design by Robyn Ayles)
J Brooke Leifso
Shauna Lee Allen
Ruth Vander Woude
Martin Neon Martin Neon
Tony Gruhn's Metalworks Inc.
15 supporters have chosen not to be listed for "Tribes: Breaking Down Barriers".
Make an Impact
A gift of this amount lets you to show that you support this project! Every dollar makes a difference.
This gift could provide a half hour of interpreter time. Each gift adds up!
Seven gifts could provide us with an interpreter for a full day. The interpreters help us with translating the script from English to ASL that is needed for the actor playing Billy’s girlfriend. She is learning part of a new language too!
Each of these gift could provide us with five hours of interpreter time. We need them in rehearsal in order to incorporate them into the staging. This is essential to proper interpretation of this fast-paced play.
Two gifts will cover the out of rehearsal prep time for one interpreter. This gets them ready to interpret the most appropriate ASL choices for the play.
One gift could give an interpreter twenty hours of preparation time. This is the time needed to learn the actors' movements and mannerisms; details matter to interpretation, as there are many ways to sign.