At the start of this project, I had several questions about identity and storytelling and the interaction between these fundamental elements that humans grapple with everyday. How does one’s identity influence the stories they tell? Does society’s “story” align with an individual’s? How do people express their identity through storytelling?
One’s identity is not isolated from society. The perceptions and ideas others hold create a specific concept that another is meant to fit in. But what happens when someone wants to present his or her idea of self-identity? Well often, they use stories. They want to explain things from their perspective, giving an alternate narrative to the script society has written.
As an aspiring Speech Pathologist, I was particularly interested in the identities and stories of the Deaf community. As I researched their culture and language, I decided that I wanted to portray this information through a creative method. I turned to documentary theatre, the process of collecting information and interviews to craft a cohesive play.
Using the model of documentary theatre, this play chronicles a story of one woman’s experience growing up Deaf. Through research and interviews, stories have been collected from various sources and individuals to create this piece. Together, these stories form the character Dee, who shares her narrative as a series of flashbacks. The play begins with diagnosis and continues to tell her experiences of success and failure in the education system.
Here’s an excerpt of the final scene:
For more details about this project, look here.
For more information about the play and its scenes, please look at The Storyboard Page.
For more information about the research process, please look at The Research Process Page.
You can find more information about the research done for this project at the following link: http://eportfolios.macaulay.cuny.edu/caoros13/