Patrick T. Kilgallon is setting up a workshop for Deaf members to learn about the basics of improvisation comedy with Andrew J. Barlow who is an accomplished CODA, (Child of Deaf Adult) comedian, writer, and actor in New York. https://www.andrewjbarlow.com. He will need certified Deaf interpreters for the workshop and plan to hire them from a professional interpreter agency like Hands Up, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Communication Center, or others. The workshop is on October 5th 2019 and believes twelve Deaf are interested so far. It will be the first step in establishing the country's first Deaf Improvisation Theater and with that, people will witness the first time in history Deaf being able to be part of the culture in Philadelphia. Deaf will be able to perform among the hearing for a broad audience and sell tickets during The Fringe that runs in September, Philadelphia comedy festival in May, and during local performances for Disability Pride in June.
After the workshop, Patrick will discuss with the participants if they want to keep practicing "The Game" as Improvisation is called in the comedy community, they can commit themselves to being casted in the Deaf Radio pilot, work with some growing Deaf accessible members once a week to improve our skills and education. If the participants are motivated to make history, we can practice our improvisation performance once a week and come up with sketch ideas. (Failing that, I have many premises to use as inspiration.) I also have various books on improvisational theater with plenty of various exercise we can incorporate as well as develop a curriculum for a Deaf friendly improvisational classes that can be offer at reasonable prices.
Many people are interested in seeing this workshop succeed because it will break barriers in the city of Philadelphia and give American Sign Language a strong platform to advocate for Deaf education through ASL and encourage the audience to respect Deaf culture and our stories.
What our grantee is saying: “This award will help me get started on enabling the Deaf people: students and future actors, writers, dancers, artists, directors, and producers get started on legitimate part time careers in the comedy community in Philadelphia and achieve inclusivity by being the first Deaf in history to perform during The Fringe Festival in September 2020, and perform for an audience of over two millions on Deaf Radio in summer of 2020, on public access television show in the future!”
What our trustees are saying: "I love comedy as a whole, and I think disability is a segment that’s underrepresented from comedy as a whole, let alone Deaf comedy. It’s a cool idea and it’s something that I can picture being really cool and fun."
Funded by Disability (July 2019)