Regina theatre production hopes to educate audiences about deaf experience

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Regina theatre production hopes to educate audiences about deaf experience
A new local production, The Madcap Misadventures of Mustafa, shares the story of artist Mustafa Alabssi as he navigates through life as a deaf person – Jun 17, 2022

A one-of-a-kind production is set to hit the stage at Regina’s Artesian venue.

The Madcap Misadventures of Mustafa, a collaboration between Deaf Crows Collective and On Cue Performance Hub in Regina, will take over the Artesian for four performances between June 17 to 19.

The production is a family-friendly clown show written and performed by Mustafa Alabssi — a Deaf artist who has been a member of the Deaf Crows Collective since 2018.

The story, which is based on Alabssi’s life, is based on a clown’s journey to Canada. He has no knowledge of American Sign Language (ASL) and no education.

“They’re learning about my deaf experience… growing up, experiences with problems with family and school, people not understanding what it is like to be deaf,” explained Alabssi through an ASL facilitator.

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Alabssi hopes the performances will show audiences that deaf and Arabic communities can put on entertaining productions.

The actors will use sign language and show expressions to interact with audience members.

“I hope when people come they will enjoy the show and my story.”

The show is directed by Mooky McGuinty, an acclaimed Cirque du Soleil clown, and features cast members Fatima Nafisa and Kainat Wahid.

McGuinty said it has been an interesting ride transforming a serious subject into comedy, but the cast and crew feel it’s a show people will not want to miss.

“Nobody wanted to tell a heavy, sad sorry about deaf experience. They all wanted to transfer it to something that was fun, joyful and uplifting,” said McGuinty.

“We know that diversity is the key to a healthy ecosystem and a healthy society. The more we know and understand about each other’s experiences, the more we have compassion for each other and we can get along.”

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She added that their focus was to make sure the production would be accessible to both hearing and non-hearing audiences.

“There will be lots of music and sound. It’s a very visual show with lots of colour and vibrancy,” McGuinty said. “It will be a profound learning experience, but in an uplifting way.”

The production kicks off with a performance at 7 p.m. on Friday, followed by two shows on Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and a matinee show at 2 p.m. on Sunday to round out the weekend.

Tickets and more information about the shows can be found at On Cue Performance Hub’s website.

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