On the Theatricality of Sign Languages on Stage

Laura Haughey, Denise Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Aotearoa New Zealand, Equal Voices Arts are working with Deaf and hearing performers, devising work that is performed in both New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) and spoken English, accessible for Deaf and hearing audiences. Focusing on their latest production to tour internationally, 'Salonica', and highlighting the work of late Deaf actor Shaun Fahey, this article will explore how Fahey's explorations of Visual Vernacular (VV) and theatricalised NZSL on stage are inherently theatrical in nature. Written collaboratively by Equal Voices Arts' artistic director, Laura Haughey (hearing), and Deaf Sign Theatre specialist Denise Armstrong, the article will illuminate the differences between signed and spoken languages on stage, and the consequent theatrical possibilities that emerge from creating a site of cross-cultural and cross-linguistic exchange for Deaf and hearing audiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-79
JournalPerformance Research
Issue number4
Early online date17 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes


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