Successful performance by Deaf theater group at Sapporo in Hokkaido Prefecture

Theatrical group members as a parent and her child act vividly in sign language.

The play, titled "Feeling Something Important" by a Deaf theater group named "Mimu" (Dancing Dream) was over at a Sapporo theater. The performance was the first since six years ago.

After the final performance, Saito Kyoko (68), the representative of the group, stood on the stage for the final greeting. She had a lump in her throat, moved emotionally when she saw the "hand applause". This reminded her of a hard practice for five months which was well paid off.

The "Mimu" theater group was formed in 1981 as one of the club activities of the Sapporo Association of the Deaf in Hokkaido Prefecture in the northern island of Japan. The main play items had been a hit play and pantomimes, which were changed later to the creative play since about ten years ago. The group has participated in the theater festivals in the prefecture, etc.

Twenty six members and staff have continued practice for the recent performance since June.

The theme of the play was the importance of telling the desire each other; the family first disjointed deepens their relation after a stranger started living with them. The play indicated also that the importance of getting acquainted of both hearing people and the Deaf person.

Because the Deaf actors perform by not the word but the expression and movement, their emotions are richer than usual plays.

Araki Motoharu (65), a sign language instructor, said, "In the scenario, there is a word unfamiliar with the Deaf either, and it is difficult to translate into the sign language. Several signs are chosen as the candidate to be decided through the discussions with the actors".

The new performance is scheduled next year in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of its establishment.

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