Television New Zealand Archive

The inaugural Deaf Festival is hosted at Kelston Deaf Education Centre

1995
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.
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Kelston Deaf Education Centre hosted the inaugural Deaf Festival during Deaf Awareness Week 1995, during which the audience will be treated to a showcase of Deaf humour, Deaf theatre, sign singing, and Deaf storytelling.

Two Deaf theatre experts from the UK, Wendy Daunt and Jerry Hanafin, skilled in storytelling and drama, were brought over to help develop the Deaf children’s drama skills which, in turn, also improve their communication skills.

Lynette Pivac, the festival coordinator, explains that drama is a versatile way for Deaf people to communicate, as it is visual-based and does not rely on use of spoken language. It’s also a useful tool to use – if there are communication barriers, Deaf people can act out their message to be understood, something which NZSL is very adept at doing.

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