To the left of this image, you see the back of a man. He is wearing a dark blue shirt – you cannot see his face. It appears one of his arms is raised high in the air. To the right of the image facing both the man and the camera is Stephanie. She has brown curly hair and is clutching one of her breasts as if she has been hit. Her facial expression shows pain and confusion. A large white projection screen can be seen behind them.
Stephanie Back, Previous work, 'Fow' Photo by Kirsten Mcternan photography

Stephanie Back – Martha!

Imagine a world where you can walk down the street, and everyone speaks your language. A world with no more, “What? Sorry?” Well, this world exists, and you’re all invited on the journey… It’s 1840 and Martha’s Vineyard, with its Deaf population at the highest its ever been, is the place to be: everyone here speaks sign language!

This all-Deaf clowning piece follows two Deafies on a trip of a lifetime to reach the historical sign language community of Martha’s Vineyard, a true Deaf utopia! With promises this big, they’ve both packed up their entire lives, and that’s no exaggeration. The only problem is, it is ridiculously hard to sign whilst carrying everything down to the kitchen sink.

Historical, cultural, educational, and hilarious; perfect for festivals, this comedy piece is rich in both suspecting and unsuspecting audience interaction. Sharing and spreading the joy of speaking with your mouth full and signing with your hands full, and completely and utterly failing at the two. Audiences and characters alike must work together to share the communication, avoid catastrophic luggage falls and find where (if!) anyone has packed a map…