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Whispers of a Savage Sort

And Other Plays about the Deaf American Experience

Raymond Luczak

Publication Year: 2009

“Oh, why can’t the deaf community be more like a family?” is the plaint of a character in Raymond Luczak’s title play Whispers of a Savage Sort. It also goes far in characterizing the main thread that runs through his remarkable collection of work offered in this new volume. Whispers of a Savage Sort and Other Plays about the Deaf American Experience presents a progression of plays that depict Deaf people in situations well-known by the community’s members. Written to be signing-driven, these plays feature Deaf characters from the various strata of Deaf society. Each play centers on different yet equally familiar issues. Snooty brings to life the difficulties of surviving the social pecking order in a deaf residential school. The main character’s only escape is a rich fantasy life in which he is in control. Doogle confronts its characters with the intrusion of technological communication devices parallel to the virtually forced intimacy of such a small, close community. Brought into stark focus by the specter of AIDS, Love in My Veins explores how trust, betrayal, and ultimately forgiveness can transform a Deaf couple’s love for each other in a Deaf community. The collection’s eponymous Whispers of a Savage Sort reveals the relentless damage that rumor and innuendo can do to a diverse group of Deaf individuals. The emotions, identities, and consequences created by Luczak in these dramas illuminate the Deaf American community in fascinating detail rarely seen in any medium today.

Published by: Gallaudet University Press


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pp. v

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Foreword: Lurking from the Shadows

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pp. vii-xi

WHEN IT COMES TO portraying Deaf people and their cultures onstage, very few hearing playwrights get it right. When Mark Medoff wrote his play Children of a Lesser God, he couched the love story within the then-raging political war between speech and sign. The input from his Deaf collaborator Phyllis Frelich on the ...

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pp. 1-39

All players except GRAHAM and COPP should wear what seventh-graders would normally wear (T-shirts and jeans); but in Snooty’s world, the more fedora hats and trench coats, the better. (Imaginary trench coats and fedora hats are fine too.) GRAHAM should wear a classy dark outfit with pumps. COPP should wear a navy blue business suit. ...

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Love in My Veins

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pp. 40-80

Both characters are deaf and use ASL to communicate. They can be voiced by two hearing actors for the signing-impaired. Over the course of their twenty-five-year relationship, which travels from the year 1975 to the present, both characters will age from their early twenties to their early fifties. They can wear the same black outfit from beginning to end, with possible clothing accouterments ...

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pp. 81-125

Minimally, the play requires four teenaged girls and four teenaged boys. One boy (LEO) can also play the male adult characters (WEBB, ISEL, etc.), and one girl (CATE) can also play the female adult characters (VRS, QUINCEY, BARBETT, etc.) as needed. If it’s possible to cast separate actors for these adult roles, that’s also fine. ...

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Whispers of a Savage Sort

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pp. 126-176

WHISPERS OF A SAVAGE SORT received its workshop premiere at the first New American Deaf Play Creators Festival (Kelly Morgan, artistic director) at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester, New York, on 11 September 1996. Produced by Mary Vreeland, the play was directed by Howie Seago. The set and lighting ...

About the Author

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pp. 177

E-ISBN-13: 9781563684395
E-ISBN-10: 156368439X
Print-ISBN-13: 9781563684203
Print-ISBN-10: 1563684209

Page Count: 200
Publication Year: 2009