Telling Stories Review

Telling Stories

Video Review by Chris Wixtrom     © 1998

Telling Stories
Written and directed by William Moses;
music by Chris Patton; produced and directed by Marin P. Allen.
Gallaudet, 1989. (Video released 1992)
VHS 90 min.

Distributed by:
Harris Communications, 15159 Technology Drive, Eden Prairie, MN 55344-2277
800.825.6758 voice, 800.825.9187 tty, 800.211.4360 vco, 952. 906.1099 fax; URL: 
Order No. VT171   $59.95

With no words spoken, and no specific signs shown on stage, you might wonder, "How can this theater-piece work?" Yet the stories play out powerfully and hit home - hard! Each act is introduced by the display of an illustrated banner, a fabric flag to tag the theme of the upcoming scene. The actors and actresses paint poignant pictures of a sequence of experiences that many d/Deaf persons have known. As the play opens, the jubilant d/Deaf characters welcome each other into a warm circle of friendship, where treasures are shared and communication is clear. Then the atmosphere changes, as the portraits of pain and confusion begin. We watch, wincing, as happy, healthy d/Deaf children are diagnosed, judged defective and in need of correction, and thrown together into the residential school. There, they emerge from isolation, form bonds, compete, struggle, search for identity, and finally find joy in reaching out to each other for strength. The penetrating images presented in this play linger on, like dreams which will not fade - or truths that must be faced.

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