POLICE DEAF NEAR FAR is loosely based on an actual event that occurred in Chicago (although it happens more frequently than you would believe): a traffic cop stops a man who has gone through a red light. The man, however, is Deaf. He signals to the cop, but the policeman doesn’t know what’s going on. Desperately, the man reaches into his pocket for pencil and paper; the officer – fearing the worst – shoots and kills him. The play is set as a hearing for the cop: we follow the story of both the deaf man (a militant Deaf Power advocate) and the cop as their lives and separate crises bring them to this encounter. We get insights into the personal problems of the officer and into the issues – both political and personal – that drive the young man to what might or might not be a suicidal act.
CAST: The play calls for two Deaf actors, and is designed to be performed with shadow signing — that is, a shadow cast that speaks during the signed scenes and signs during the spoken ones.
The play uses a company of about 10 to play multiple roles (except for five primary roles: three men and two women.
SET: Minimal scenery, fluid staging. One section calls for projected images, either extended video or a series of stills.