Deaf Broadway Works to Bring “Truly Full Visual Entertainment for The Deaf, By The Deaf” with New Levels Of Accessibility

Summarized by Holly Gerber, Staff Writer

Deaf Broadway, a newly formed theater group of deaf performers, uses online resources to share theater performances designed for the hard of hearing community. Utilizing video broadcasting applications like Zoom, the group plays two videos side by side. One video features a filmed performance of a musical, while the other video is of deaf Broadway members performing in American Sign Language. Co-founder Garrett Zuercher explains that their productions work “by having one deaf person for each character, signing EVERYTHING in ASL, omitting nothing, so that it’s always visually clear who is saying what and when and why and how.” This, according to Zuercher, helps deaf viewers understand the nuance and overlapping conversations that captioning can’t always portray.

Zuercher, Miriam Rochford, and Kim Hale co-founded Deaf Broadway less than three months ago. All the actors in this group are deaf—and native users of ASL. With the motto “full visual entertainment for the Deaf, by the Deaf,” the streamed Deaf Broadway performances make musical theater more accessible for ASL users across the country.

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