MINNESOTA FRINGE FESTIVAL presents
I Never Slept with Helen Keller
a new play by Deaf playwright Raymond Luczak
August 3 – 10, 2007
Show Information: http://www.handtype.com/helenkeller/
Fringe Festival Information:
Commentary: I was notified of this play through a Seattle friend and I was overcome with excitement. Raymond Luczak is a well-known Deaf writer, his name has floated around me several times. After reading his foreword for the play, I was truly blown away and affected by this sighted person’s take on DeafBlindhood and especially the stigma of being a Helen Keller typecast myself.
I have been told many times in the past few years since my “coming out” that I was the “next Helen Keller”. That scored some self-esteem points with me for a while until I learned who Helen Keller truly was, and the heavy stereotype that society spoke of that did not truly reflect the entire Deaf Blind community. Luczak says it all beautifully, especially when he speaks with passion of his involvement and education by, with and of the Deaf Blind community. Just by absorbing his words, I just know that this play he has written truly comes from his heart and soul.
The play will educate not only the attendees at this festival, but there is hope that this show or others will finally break the pedestal that people put us on. Especially when the one of the acting troupe, Jessica Eggert, has Usher Syndrome .
When someone, I forget who, told me that I should abandon the thinking that I would be the next Helen Keller, I actually took that as an offense. But he/she made me see that I’m not the shadow nor image of a successful and unforgettable decades-old role model, but I am my own for today’s generation. At last, I say:
I am the one and only Christine “Coco” Roschaert. Remember that, even as you meet other Deaf Blind people. They are their own person in their right. Learn from us, not from history.
I really want to go see this show. But I have no financial means to make it over to Minnesota. What a shame! I hope Luczak takes his show on the road, and I most definitely will be there in the future.
Tactile love, Coco