The Sign Singing Superstars
The Sign Singing Superstars
The Sign Singing Superstars
1980s
Collection

The Sign Singing Superstars

Collection of archival items related to the Sign Singing Superstars, with videos, images, articles and later, NZSL stories!
1996
video – Taonga source: Chris Blum

Summer Deaf Youth Camp: Drama Show

Youth campers at the 1996 Summer Deaf Youth Camp in Otaki put on an entertaining evening drama show!
Chris Blum
1964
video – Taonga source: Susan Hamilton

The Governor-General and his wife visits Kelston School for the Deaf

The Governor-General Sir Bernard and Lady Fergusson visited Kelston School for the Deaf on 4 April 1964. They were entertained by swimming and gymnastics display by its deaf pupils.
Susan Hamilton
1995
publication – Taonga source: National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

NFD Communicate: July 1995

National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
1999
video – Taonga source: Rūaumoko Komiti

Mai Time features NZSL!

Mai Time made one of their episodes accessible in NZSL to mark Deaf Awareness Week 1999. KDEC’s sign singing choir and Patrick Thompson made an appearance along with as did Rūaumoko Marae’s kapa haka roopu.
Rūaumoko Komiti
2015
video – Taonga source: Auckland Deaf Society

History through Young Eyes: Interview with Susie Ovens

A Tu Kokiri student interviews Susie Ovens on her involvement with the infamous Deaf Sign Singers group.
Auckland Deaf Society
2000
publication – Taonga source: Oticon Foundation

Soundscape: November 2000

Oticon Foundation
1987
article – Taonga source: Unknown

Making sense of silence

The play, Children of a Lesser God, opens at Wellington's Circa Theatre next week. The theatre is arranging a special showing of the play, with an interpreter, for deaf people, their families and tutors.
1996
publication – Taonga source: National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

NFD Communicate: March 1996

National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
1995
publication – Taonga source: National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

NFD Communicate: December 1995

National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
1982
video – Taonga source: Dulcie McKie

Sign Singers: ‘Born Free’

The Sign Singers perform the song 'Born Free' broadcast on Stars on Sunday in June 1982.
Dulcie McKie
1984
publication – Taonga source: New Zealand Deaf News

NZ Deaf News: February 1984

2001
publication – Taonga source: Oticon Foundation

Soundscape: September 2001

Oticon Foundation
1983
article – Taonga source: NZ Herald

Sign Language Puts The Deaf in Tune

The Deaf Sign Singers have a busy schedule this year with performances throughout the North Island.
2003
video – Taonga source: DEAFinitely Youth Group

The first Wallace Williams Comedy Evening kicks off!

The first ever Wallace Williams Comedy Evening kicks off in 2003, as a fundraiser for Deaf Youth to attend the WFD Congress in Montreal, Canada.
DEAFinitely Youth Group
1968
publication – Taonga source: New Zealand Deaf News

NZ Deaf News: Winter 1968 (Vol. 5, No. 4)

1959
video – Taonga source: Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Sumner School for the Deaf Marching Girls

The Deaf Sumner School for the Deaf marching team participate in a marching competition in Auckland, 1958.
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
1990
video – Taonga source: Dulcie McKie

Welcome 1990 Haere Mai!

The Auckland Sign Singers were invited to perform with others in a three-hour entertainment special to celebrate 1990 which was broadcast live from Bastion Point on TV One at 7.30pm.
Dulcie McKie
1982
article – Taonga source: NZ Woman’s Weekly

Mime put to use

Susie Ovens, born 97% deaf, uses mime as one of the many methods to relate to the hearing world. She is also a member of the “Deaf Sign Singers”, a group of 11 deaf people who perform sign language to music.
1999
publication – Taonga source: National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

NFD Communicate: Autumn 1999

National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
1977
video – Taonga source: Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Outreach Drama Workshop

Written and directed by Kelston School for Deaf Children Standard 3 students, the play depicts a girl's nightmare in which she is abducted by aliens and encounters witches, Frankenstein's Monster and various other creatures.
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
1981
article – Taonga source: Central Leader

Deaf singers in song

For the last 15 months, the Independent Theatre of the Deaf has performed in venues all over Auckland as the Deaf Sign Singers.
1989
video – Taonga source: Television New Zealand Archive

The play ‘Children of a Lesser God’

This TV series (Sunday Magazine) looks at some of the projects young people are getting involved in. This clip is about acting in a play about Deaf people, in which Patty Still has been teaching the hearing cast NZSL for their roles.
Television New Zealand Archive
1984
video – Taonga source: Dulcie McKie

Sign Singers perform on the ‘In South Tonight’ programme – Dunedin 1984

The Sign Singers tour the South Island for Deaf Awareness in 1984, and are invited to perform on ‘In South Tonight’ while in Dunedin.
Dulcie McKie
1982
video – Taonga source: Dulcie McKie

Sign Singers: ‘Oh What a Beautiful Day’

The Sign Singers perform 'Oh What a Beautiful Day' broadcast on Stars on Sunday in February 1983.
Dulcie McKie
1999
video – Taonga source: Rae McKie

Deaf Marching Girls at the New Zealand National Marching Championships

The School for the Deaf Marching Girls are invited to perform their routine at the New Zealand National Marching Championships, 45 years after the group was set-up.
Rae McKie
1995
video – Taonga source: Television New Zealand Archive

The inaugural Deaf Festival is hosted at Kelston Deaf Education Centre

Deaf children are taught drama skills by two Deaf visitors from the UK, in preparation for their show at the opening night of the inaugural Deaf Festival, hosted by Kelston Deaf Education Centre.
Television New Zealand Archive
2001
video – Taonga source: Lorraine Butler

Deaf Diversity – Queer Nation

Queer Nation meets a sporty lesbian with nimble fingers. Lorraine talks about her identity, involvement with Deaf sports, performing and access, emphasising that Deaf people are really no different from hearing people.
Lorraine Butler
1981
video – Taonga source: Dulcie McKie

Sign Singers perform Silent Night

The Sign Singers perform the famous carol 'Silent Night' for the Stars on Sunday programme.
Dulcie McKie
1981
video – Taonga source: Dulcie McKie

Sign Singers: ‘I Hear Your Hand’

The Sign Singers perform the song 'I Hear Your Hand' for the Stars on Sunday programme.
Dulcie McKie
1986
video – Taonga source: Ngaire Doherty

A ‘Mime and Masks’ show by Deaf Drama Group: A Visit to Kiwiland

A Deaf Drama group perfoms 'A Visit to Kiwiland' at Kelston with supporting acts by the Sign Singers. The evening fundraised $766.00 towards the purchase of a TTY and to sponsor two pupils from Kelston to attend the World Deaf Games in Christchurch 1989.
Ngaire Doherty
1999
publication – Taonga source: National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

NFD Communicate: Spring/Summer 1999

National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
1988
video – Taonga source: Television New Zealand Archive

van Asch students learn street theatre skills from Mr Moon

After Mr Moon has been teaching Van Asch Deaf Education Centre Deaf students street theatre skills, they watch a performance from the Montreal Street Theatre at the New Zealand Festival in Wellington, in preparation for staging their own live performance.
Television New Zealand Archive
1959
video – Taonga source: Auckland Deaf Society

Te Pakanga O Whau – The Battle of Whau: Drama by Kelston School for the Deaf

The Battle of Whau: a drama by Kelston Deaf students for the opening ceremony of Kelston School for the Deaf, 7th November 1959.
Auckland Deaf Society
1984
video – Taonga source: Dulcie McKie

Sign Singers perform at Dunedin Deaf Club

The Sign Singers perform at the Dunedin Deaf Club in front of Deaf members and their friends.
Dulcie McKie
1988
video – Taonga source: Television New Zealand Archive

Spot On interview of Deaf actor in ‘Strangers’

'Strangers' was a TVNZ-produced drama series for children, with one Deaf character played by 7-year-old Sonia Pivac. Reporter Phil Keoghan, from ‘Spot On’, interviews Sonia about being the only Deaf actor in the drama.
Television New Zealand Archive
2016
publication – Taonga source: Oticon Foundation

Soundscape: March 2016

Oticon Foundation
1998
publication – Taonga source: National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

NFD Communicate: Spring 1998

National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
1982
video – Taonga source: Dulcie McKie

Sign Singers: ‘Harmony’

The Sign Singers perform 'Harmony' broadcast on Stars on Sunday in February 1983. They are introduced in sign language, in one of the first examples of a non-Deaf person signing on prime time television.
Dulcie McKie
1982
video – Taonga source: Dulcie McKie

Sign Singers: ‘Sailing’

The Sign Singers perform the hit song 'Sailing' broadcast on Stars on Sunday in May 1982. Ian Watkins, introduces the group by saying “…and I’m delighted to welcome back to the programme the deaf sign singers.”
Dulcie McKie
1959
video – Taonga source: Susan Hamilton

Extended version: Te Pakanga o Whau performs at the opening ceremony of Kelston

The opening of Kelston on a site in Archibald Road featured the infamous ‘Te Pakanga o Whau’ (The Battle of Whau) in 1959 where 86 deaf students acted in an outside play featuring a Māori-Pakeha battle near a big gum tree field.
Susan Hamilton
1998
video – Taonga source: Rae McKie

School for the Deaf Marching Girls reunited 45 years later!

The infamous Deaf Marching Girls reunite 45 years later, with a Friday spent practicing before showing their routine to supporters at van Asch on the Sunday.
Rae McKie
1988
article – Taonga source: NZ Woman’s Weekly

They’re naturals for the part

A production this month of the play Children of a Lesser God in Auckland will feature two deaf actors, Bryan Williams and Sheila Gibbons. And the starring role will be played, for the second time, by Gloss actress Miranda Harcourt.
1991
article – Taonga source: The Guardian

Deaf drama group presents NZ first

The Manawatu Deaf Drama Group (MADEDRA) will present a show at Abbey Theatre, before taking it to Auckland for the Deaf View Conference and eventually, hope to travel overseas.
2014
publication – Taonga source: Wellington Deaf Society

Absolutely Positively Windy Deaf: September 2014

Wellington Deaf Society
1988
video – Taonga source: Television New Zealand Archive

Deaf young actor on ‘Strangers’

'Strangers' was a TVNZ-produced drama series, including one Deaf character played by 7-year-old Sonia Pivac. This short documentary is a brief look behind the scenes of the filming process.
Television New Zealand Archive
1991
publication – Taonga source: National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

NFD Communicate: December 1991

National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
1987
article – Taonga source: The Dominion

An actor learns about being deaf

Children Of A Lesser God, a play that tackles the communication problems faced by deaf people, opens at Circa tomorrow night. Suzanne Pollard talks to two of the cast about their roles.
1981
video – Taonga source: Dulcie McKie

Sign Singers at Telethon 1981

The popular Sign Singers are the first act to perform at the 1981 Telethon Live at the Auckland Town Hall.
Dulcie McKie
1987
article – Taonga source: Unknown

A silence full of sounds

Wellington actor Miranda Harcourt who plays Sarah in Children of a Lesser God, understands her character's sentiments. She spent eight months learning sign language before the play opened at Dunedin's Fourtune Theatre in October.
2002
video – Taonga source: Dorothy Jones

Auckland Schools for Deaf: 60th Reunion

Weekend celebrations are kickstarted with a Māori Deaf kapa haka group to perform a haka powhiri. Vintage teachers such as Les Bury briefly summarise their experiences of working in Deaf education over the years.
Dorothy Jones
2023
article – Taonga source: Stuff

Acting experience leaves Deaf teen with another career option

New short film 'The Dining Table' is putting emerging Deaf talent from Aotearoa on to film festival screens. Lucy McKenzie-Bridle, 16, a Wellington Girls’ College student, makes her debut in The Dining Table, playing Ana, a Deaf teenager being raised in a hearing family.
Stuff
1978
video – Taonga source: Susie Ovens

Suzanne Ovens on Star Zone!

Susie Ovens, a 12-year-old Deaf girl, participates in ‘Star Zone’ showcasing her miming and theatre skills. Susie wins the New Zealand grand prize and a trip to Melbourne, Australia to participate in another show. At the time of her victory there were no communicators or NZSL interpreters, leaving Susie to figure out at the end of the show whether she had won!
Susie Ovens
1987
article – Taonga source: The Press

All the world is a stage – for the deaf, too

“Speaking hands, hearing eyes” is the title of an Australian folk song about the deaf. It is also the dictum by which Anne Tweedie lives and why she has started a Theatre for the Deaf.
2003
publication – Taonga source: Oticon Foundation

Soundscape: September 2003

Oticon Foundation
1985
video – Taonga source: Dulcie McKie

Telethon 1985

The Sign Singers perform ‘You’re My Sunshine’ at the 1985 Telethon.
Dulcie McKie
1990
article – Taonga source: NZ Herald

Singing and signing

The price in being part of the 600-strong Commonwealth Games opening ceremony choir as they use sign language to sing is evident.
1986
video – Taonga source: Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

The Magic Park

In November 1986, film maker Ann Andrews organised a week-long drama workshop for six 13 year olds from Kelston School for the Deaf. The workshop concluded with the play, The Magic Park, written and acted by the students.
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision