‘Vibrations’ show helps students understand deaf experience

http://www.purdueexponent.org/features/article_2823cc5e-3d6a-11e0-95b9-00127992bc8b.html

“Vibrations” delivered a stimulating show for the hearing that demonstrated how the deaf experience music through theater performances.

The Loeb Playhouse filled with 368 people of both hearing and deaf on Sunday to watch the Indiana School for the Deaf perform its theatrical show, “Vibrations.” The show was performed by 13 students ranging from middle to high school. Unlike performances where the performers express emotion through voice, the “Vibrations” performers used facial expressions and their whole bodies to convey emotions and words. Loud music and pumping bass added to the experience by demonstrating the vibrations that songs make that allow the deaf to experience music.

“It was an awesome experience, made me really appreciate the deaf culture,” said Rachel Roembke, a freshman in the College of Liberal Arts.

The purpose of the show was for the deaf to express their culture and experiences through dancing, poetry and various skits. These different skits ranged from an entertaining “Pepsi boy,” who signed while an interpreter spoke about being a boy who loves Pepsi, to a skit where performers pretended to be different TV channels on a giant TV prop as two girls neglected their homework and later put their mother into the TV. One of the most expressive song interpretations was a group performance to the song “Mr. Roboto” by Styx, where the performers signed and danced like robots in flashy costumes.

The mixture of the audience between hearing and deaf caused for some moments where one did not know whether to clap or to wave their hands in the symbol for clapping that deaf people use. By the end of the show, the audience demonstrated what they had learned by using the sign language symbol for clapping. Unlike hearing another language, watching the performers use American Sign Language was surprisingly easy to follow because of their use of body language and gestures.

“I thought it was really cool, makes you really appreciate hearing,” said Lauren O’Connor, a junior in the College of Health and Human Sciences.

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