Play to vie for national awards

While most dramatic performances typically shunt sign language interpreters off-stage, a play performed Sunday in the Weasler Auditorium drew them into the spotlight.

"Quid Pro Quo," written as a senior thesis by Garrett Zuercher, was performed at the Weasler on Sunday, Jan. 11 in front of about 100 people. The production was completely signed with sophomore Joseph Fernandez and junior Anne Yatco as the off-stage voices. It was followed by a short question and answer session.

Student actors who participated in the play said the role reversal was challenging, though ultimately rewarding.

"I would like to thank the audiences," said Fernandez, the voice of Lucas. "Every time we have performed the play they have responded so positively that it's hard to believe that I am allowed to be a part of something that means so much to people. And I think that's the goal of every performer; to have a performance that leaves a special place in people's minds."

"This has been the most challenging role ever," said senior Colleen Foy, who plays Lindsay. "Acting in another language forces you to really think about what your character is saying."

Zuercher, who graduated last year and is deaf himself, wrote and directed a play about Lucas, a man who is deaf, and Lindsay, a hearing woman. He said his play is meant to teach self-acceptance.

Throughout the play, Lucas and Lindsay learn what it is like to be in each other's shoes. After actually exchanging their conditions, each one discovers that happiness comes from self-acceptance and that everyone is not as different as they think they are.

"This play is the ultimate bridge between the hearing and deaf communities," said junior Michael Miro, who plays Lucas.

On Jan. 16 the play is going to Illinois State University in Bloomington, Ill. to compete at the Kennedy Center's American College Theater Festival for a National College Playwriting Award and a Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award, given to plays that deal with disabilities.