Play postponed after hearing actor is cast in deaf role - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Play postponed after hearing actor is cast in deaf role

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A play at Theatre Cedar Rapids is postponed after backlash from the deaf community because the role of a deaf character was given to a person who could hear.

While the play Tribes was being cast, no deaf actors auditioned for the role of Billy, a deaf character.

The theatre gave the role of Billy to an actor who could hear, upsetting many.

KWWL interviewed someone from the deaf community using an interpreter.

"Because that play written by Nina was specifically made for deaf culture awareness. and it was made for their language, their struggle, their frustrations because we, hearing people and deaf people have different languages and cultures," says Jennifer Keaton, Community Services Specialist at Community Hands.

We spoke with the theatre about their choice to postpone the play.

"My personal hope is that it's a solution that last far longer than Tribes, that it gets people involved in other ways, even just as patrons makes them feel more welcome and able to attend shows here," says Casey Prince, TCR Executive Director.

The news of the play being postponed also upset some people but it was exciting for others, including much of the deaf community.

"They're very excited about this opportunity because they really want to take advantage of it. We are here we are now it's happening," Keaton told us.

She says it's about raising awareness of deaf culture.

We spoke via Facebook to the actor originally cast for the role of Billy, he says he hopes to somehow still participate in the show.

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