by Gaëtan L. Charlebois
Elizabeth Morris is a Deaf Community Consultant and ASL (American Sign Language) coach for theatres/films. She was born deaf, in England, and has lived in four countries. She is fluent in ASL and was an ASL coach for the Toronto Young People's Theatre production, “Love you Forever and more...”, based on Robert Munsch's books which won a Dora Mavor Moore award. She’s currently working as an ASL coach for the Stratford Festival’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” She was the ASL coach for an episode in 2012 of the TV show called, “Flashpoint” featuring a deaf child. She graduated with a BA in Educational Drama and Elementary Education from Gallaudet University for the Deaf in Washington, D.C. She is also a certified teacher and a professional actor. She has been a member of two Deaf Theatre tour companies in the USA (National Theatre of the Deaf and Quest for Arts), and used ASL in all of their shows.
CHARPO: I’d like to talk about your background. I see you studied at Gallaudet which is well known for being both a centre of discussion on cochlear implants but also ground zero of Deaf Culture activism. Tell us about the atmosphere there and what the training brought to your subsequent work.
CHARPO: Now the present piece you are working on is both interesting for being a work for the hearing and for integrating you and American Sign Language (ASL) into the performance. How does this differ from the work you did with the National Theatre of the Deaf?