American Sign Language comedian Keith Wann entertains Lancaster Campus while bringing message of diversity
Keith Wann’s “Fisftuls of Laughter” became a theatre full of laughter as soon as he took the stage Friday night, Oct. 22, at the Lancaster Campus. The stand-up comedian and producer of the ASL Comedy Tour and ASL Across America entertained more than 300 audience members at Ohio Friday night in Wagner Theatre.
A leading advocate for the hearing impaired, Wann shared hilarious, and sometimes thoughtfully solemn, stories of his life as the child of deaf adults (Coda).
His unique spin on cultural diversity bridges the gap between his worlds with comedic and serious discussions. His advocacy efforts in the American Sign Language (ASL) community and his large audiences have led to features on popular television shows and in commercials.
Wann launched the first live radio talk radio show for the ASL community in August. That Keith Wann Show – Cultural Bridges is an extension of his “continued efforts to connect the hearing, ASL and Coda communities in shared experiences, education and entertainment.”
Wann’s appearance was arranged by Jenny Sheline and other members of the Ohio University Lancaster ASL Club and the Campus Cultural Events Committee.
Deaf Studies and Interpreting instructor and Program Coordinator Becky Brooks noted that the event was another successful activity planned by students.
“I am so proud of our students!" Brooks said. "Their hard work and dedication to cultural awareness made the night an overwhelming success!”
Sheline was most impressed by Wann’s appreciation at the conclusion of the show.
“He thanked everyone who is taking or had taken ASL because it opened up the world for his parents and other deaf people." Sheline said. "This show opened my eyes to how big a deaf community we have locally and that more interaction and acceptance is needed to bring the two worlds of the hearing and deaf together.”
PHOTO: Keith Wann with Deaf Studies and Interpreting instructors and members of Lancaster Campus ASL Club. Photo by Jenny Sheline.