SignStage Mission Statement

To produce educational programs and performances about Deaf Culture that promotes awareness and demonstrates the value of cultural diversity between the Deaf and Hearing communities.

SignStage Vision Statement

To position SignStage as a national and internationally known organization that serves the interests of the Deaf Community by producing videos, educational programming and theatre performances that demonstrate the value of cultural diversity between the Deaf and Hearing communities.

In 2007, SignStage joined the family of services provided by Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center (CHSC). Administered by CHSC’s Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCDHH) department, SignStage works directly with Deaf and disadvantaged students in the classroom to motivate and improve their literacy, learning, and social skills as well as improve their personal self-esteem. SignStage not only works with the Deaf population but within the Hearing world as well, offering workshops, school residencies and professional development.  They create performance skits about theatre, sign language and Deaf related issues. A SignStage presentation is interactive, engaging and educational. The programs, created by Artistic Manager, Bill Morgan,  use theatre arts and American Sign Language in order to create in all students (and their school faculties and administrations) a greater sensitivity to deafness.

A SignStage  Program for Everyone - and Every Need

“D.E.A.F.” Deaf Awareness Performance

D.E.A.F. is an acronym that stands for Dedicated to the Elimination of Assumptions and Fallacies. Using theatre, mime and improvisational techniques, this deaf awareness program educates the audience about conflicts that happen between deaf and hearing individuals in real life situations. You’ll see several humorous skits in which conflicts are exaggerated in order to make a point.  This program is also interactive and allows for audience participation to learn the value of gesture communication in any language.

The Silent Classroom

Did you know that Sign Language can be used as an innovative classroom management strategy?  This workshop teaches useful communication signs to people of all ages.  Once these signs are learned, teachers and students will be able to silently communicate specific classroom directions and activities.  Words such as bathroom, silence, hold, stand, sit, or line-up are taught to both teachers and students. Instead of using generic hand gestures, use real Sign Language.

Gesture Communication

Ideal for theatre or creative dramatic students of all ages, this workshop is designed to improve non-verbal communication skills.  Students participate in exercises that increase the use of body language and facial expressions when communicating thoughts and feelings.  Non-verbal communication skills are enhanced by using gestures, mime, and improvisation techniques.

Performing Deaf Theatre Workshops

Performing Deaf Theatre is like speaking two languages at the same time. Using Theatre, this customizable residency combines American Sign Language, spoken English and creative writing.  Students develop a theatrical performance or skit based upon a topic or theme being studied in the classroom. Some actors perform using sign language while other actors simultaneously use “voices” to communicate the lines. All actors learn basic Sign Language when memorizing the script. Students perform the play for an audience of parents or the school community. The audience will “see things they’ve never heard.”

Signs for the Little Dramatist (PreK-2)

A combination of basic sign language and creative dramatics, this program integrates creative movement with visual arts and music. Children will learn about primary and secondary colors and the fundamentals of performing in front of an audience.

Signing Seuss

Students will learn basic facts about Dr. Seuss and how he created his rhyming stories.  Students will participate in exercises designed to excite their imaginations as they learn about gesturing and signing to the Dr. Seuss book, Green Eggs and Ham.  Using volunteers from the audience to demonstrate, everyone in attendance will have learned the correct way to sign the words from the story.


SignStage conducts extended school theatre residencies that last from 3 days to full school years.  They are a roster artist affiliated with the Ohio Arts Council as well as the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning in Cleveland. Workshops can be scheduled from one hour up to one day, depending on the program. Student activities include team building, peer mentoring, student and community performances, and video creation. Students learn creative writing skills, sign language, theater arts, movie making, acting and performance skills, and the ability to work in groups.

SignStage Creates

With a focus on integrating the Ohio Academic Fine Arts Content Standards within a school’s curriculum, SignStage will custom-design a residency that fits the needs of individual schools, classrooms and students.

For more information about Sign Stage, contact:

William Morgan, Sign Stage Artistic Manager

Community Center for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing
Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center
11635 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44106
Voice: 216-325-7559

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