Photo above: Production photo from The Lady Becomes Him. Presented at Gallaudet University, Apr 18 – May 12. Left to Right: Rachel Spicknall Mulford, Amelia Hensley, Matthew Pauli, Lindsey D. Snyder, James McGowan, Stephen Hock and John V. Bellomo. Photo by Second Glance Photography, courtesy of Faction of Fools Theatre Company.
Faction of Fools (FOF) Theatre Company, founded by Artistic Director Matthew Wilson, is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization which runs shows with Commedia, Renaissance theatre-style.
FOF now is running “The Lady Becomes Him” until May 12. This play is directed by Toby Mulford. Gallaudet University, the world’s only liberal arts university in Washington, D.C., now hosts FOF because FOF wants to hire performers of all languages including American Sign Language (ASL). Gallaudet graduate (2012), James McGowan, plays Luzio, who communicates with other characters in ASL. This is because Commedia dell’ Arte has no rules with language, so performers can express themselves in any language.
“People in the audience look at the open captioning, the sign language interpreters (at certain show dates), and at the performers on stage, so they have options which makes this show serve as a good model for communication accessibility,” McGowan said. “The audience really enjoyed the experience.”
McGowan, who was a theatre major at Gallaudet, also says that FOF gives deaf performers opportunities to have training and to show their skills. For the past two years, FOF has been using Gallaudet University’s theatre for its shows. “It is a perfect marriage between FOF and Gallaudet,” said Michael Sprouse, a current Gallaudet student.
Throughout this show, open captions are presented on stage in the middle, so it was easy to watch the performers and the captioning at the same time. For those who can hear, some of the performers also played the violin and other instruments in the background at times during the show. Also, McGowan does a great job bringing Luzio to life and you need to come and see for yourself in this unique play of its own kind. All shows are open-captioned, but May 4 at 8 pm and May 12 at 2 pm will also be ASL-interpreted at Gallaudet University’s Elstad Annex.
Above: Production photo from The Lady Becomes Him. Presented at Gallaudet University, Apr 18 – May 12. L to R: Matthew Pauli, Rachel Spicknall Mulford and Amelia Hensley. Photo by Second Glance Photography, courtesy of Faction of Fools Theatre Company.