The New York Deaf Theatre company is celebrating its 35th anniversary with a production of ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’.
Performed by a cast of deaf and hearing actors, it is JW Guido’s fourth production as artistic director.
“It looks like any other theatre production except there is sign language on stage. Everything else, we basically keep to theatre tradition,” Guido said.
For the audition process, two people were cast for each role – a deaf actor using sign language and a hearing actor simultaneously speaking the lines.
The dual roles presented additional challenges for the actors, requiring strong teamwork.
“I guess one of the challenges would be working with the voice actors because when you’re signing, the voices have to match the timing of the signs and the style. And that definitely takes extra rehearsals, it’s not easy,” said Guido.
Robert DeMayo, who has been acting for 30 years, plays the lead role. He says it is tough for deaf actors on the job m