We went with our friends Scott and Donna to the Plaza Theater in downtown Garland tonight to see the Garland High School version of Allen Meyer and Michael Nowak's play, the "Signal Season of Dummy Hoy". The play told a story I did not know until this week. William Ellsworth "Dummy" Hoy, a deaf man, played professional baseball in the late nineteenth century. His story is pretty interesting, and has generated a website
or two. The play uses the bare bones of the story to communicate some things about the issues relating to deaf people living among those who hear. The entire cast was comprised of ninth graders, some of who had to learn sign language from scratch in three months in order to put it on. Playwrights Allen Meyer and Michael Nowak flew in from Chicago yesterday to see the play performed, and Mr. Meyer was at tonight's performance. He allowed us a short question and answer session after the play, which was interesting. The Plaza Theatre is an old movie theater converted into a several hundred seat live venue--it really is a nice place to see a performance. The cast did a great job. My favorite, apart from the fellow who played the lead role of Mr. Hoy, was a woman named Michelle. Despite being a somewhat diminutive woman, she put on a faux handlebar moustache and a bowler hat and assayed a male role with a rather macho swagger. I was so impressed with how polished the actors were. I was also amazed that I did not know this story, about a fellow who made a niche working against a number of societal prejudices. This story deserves wider airing, although apparently the play has already had a good run. I think it was great for a high school tropue to take on a fairly ambitious work; those who think that high schools are stuck with "Annie Get Your Gun" and "The Mousetrap" are mistaken. I suspect it had not gotten many high school performances before, but that it will get more now. The issues of deafness in a hearing society fascinate me.
What a great live venue! I'd love to see an ambient music concert at the Plaza--it would be a perfect place for a concert. The spaghetti before the play at Eduardo's restaurant on the square was its usual well done. I looked with longing at the cool quilts in the quilt shop on the square. I had a momentary fantasy recently of learning to make quilts, but then I read an internet site about it and realized I'm better at lying under quilts than at quilting them.
I must work tomorrow. It is possibly going to snow tonight.