November 29, 2016 7:19 pm
Updated: November 29, 2016 10:47 pm

Regina theatre group needs 14K to perform in first-ever deaf theatre festival in Alta.

WATCH ABOVE: A Regina theatre group is hoping to head to Alberta to perform at an Edmonton theatre festival. But as Christa Dao explains, both the play and the festival is something completely out of the ordinary.

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Deaf Crows isn’t your typical theatrical play – it’s probably the opposite. It’s one with no talking scripts, no music and it is completely silent.

The play was created and performed by members of Regina’s deaf community. Performers use miming, puppetry and American Sign Language as their mode of storytelling.

Deaf Crows delves into the lives of people growing up deaf, in an audible world. Over the summer, the group performed to sold out crowds in Regina.

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“We performed for people in June here in Regina and the performances were sold out. We decided to add another night and people were so touched and they were crying,” teacher and co-director Joanne Weber said.

READ MORE: How a deaf dog, once thought untrainable, won the Agility Trial Champion of Cana

Now, Deaf Crows is invited to Edmonton to the first-ever deaf theatre festival in Canadian history — “Sound Off”.

But the cost is proving to be a barrier. The group needs to raise $14,000 to get there.

“Oh, we have concerns of course but I know that people have good hearts and people will understand that it’s really important to have that opportunity… [because] the deaf community have limited choices in the world,” Weber said.

For student performer Shayla Rae Tanner, the chance to perform in another city brings a mix of emotions.

“I’m both excited and nervous for the acting that we have to do in front of a big audience,” Tanner said.

Another performer, Fatima Tun Nafisa also echoed those thoughts.

“Very very nervous. All these people will be watching me,” she said.

Artist-in-Residence Chrystene Ells said it’s not just acting for the performers. The trip would be beneficial in more ways than one.

“For them, they’re the only deaf theatre company that they know,” Ells said.

“For them to step outside of this small space and see there’s a whole world of deaf art and deaf theatre and deaf events and a larger deaf community, it is such a huge opportunity,” she said.

They’re hoping to raise enough money on their GoFundMe page to send them to Alberta’s capital. Their deadline to raise the money is Dec. 15, 2016.

The deaf theatre festival in Edmonton runs from Feb.9 to Feb.19, 2017.

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