Signs of spring

Published 8:39 pm Monday, April 28, 2014

During rehearsals Wednesday for Lakeland High School’s American Sign Language spring drama, Dixie Seitz, Meaghan O’Brien, Joseph Blair, D’monyaa Beale and Elizabeth Crim look on as Christelle Hollomon takes center stage.

During rehearsals Wednesday for Lakeland High School’s American Sign Language spring drama, Dixie Seitz, Meaghan O’Brien, Joseph Blair, D’monyaa Beale and Elizabeth Crim look on as Christelle Hollomon takes center stage.

American Sign Language students at Lakeland High School are busy rehearsing for their spring drama, which brings everybody’s favorite musicals to the stage in early May.

With two performances in the school auditorium, 6:30 p.m. on May 2 and 3, “For the Love of Singing Musicals!” includes songs from “The Lion King,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Leader of the Pack,” “My Fair Lady” and “Grease.”

The ASL Club is asking audience members for a donation — $4 for adults and $2 for students. Children 4 and under are free.

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“The students that participate in the drama, their signing skills go from not knowing a lot to just being able to sign, being able to read sign,” said Anita Fisher, ASL teacher.

“They really excel. It’s amazing to me. I have ASL 2 students, they come in and they can understand me somewhat, but once they’re in the play, we can sign back and forth to one another.”

Several students participating in the drama rehearsed in Fisher’s classroom Wednesday, including Christelle Hollomon, in her second year of ASL and playing Henry Higgins of “My Fair Lady.”

“I did the Christmas one,” Hollomon said, referring to another annual show the club puts on. “I loved it.”

Dixie Seitz, also in her second year, said she joined Fisher’s class after her neighbor and sister learned to sign. Seitz plays Ariel in “The Little Mermaid.”

For Meaghan O’Brien, it will be her first time onstage, let along signing onstage. “It will be challenging at first, but I’ll get used to it,” she said.

Joseph Blair, playing Prince Eric, doesn’t even take Fisher’s class — he helps out after school, and was called into service after soaking up some signing skills.

“My friends took the class, so I decided to help out,” he said.

Meanwhile, D’monyaa Beale and Elizabeth Crim were the other two students rehearsing Wednesday. Beale said she could carry on signing conversations after reaching level 3 in her studies, and Crim, in her second year with the others, said signing seemed “like a lot of fun and something different.”

“For the most part it’s pretty easy,” Crim said. “There are just some things that are complicated.”