Review: Deafy

A play that reaches out to be more than just the sum of its parts.  

Jean-Paul Fournier: BTR Writer and Future Amateur Magician

“Deafy” begins with our main character, Nathan Jesper, a deaf public speaker telling some humorous anecdotes about him and his friend Len, who is also deaf. As the stories come along, the tone shifts to more serious and personal tales of his struggle to find out where and how he belongs. And as all stories lead on, they allow us to understand Nathan better, they are walking us toward a final tale that he may not be so ready to tell.  

The show concept is brilliant in its simplicity.  Dodd presents himself in front of a blank backdrop with displays above his head, the captions for his speeches. The transitions between stories evolve with ominous lighting effects as Dodd switches to the physical performance that changes from dancing, rolling around, and even engaging in panic attacks. Each transformative break works as small pieces of the puzzle that’s leading to the final tale.  While the show may feel like a variety of memoires, they all beautifully connect as one in the emotionally impactful ending.  

Dodd’s ability to tell captivating stories had me searching for more of his work. This informed me he’s the founder and artistic director of another exciting theatre festival, SOUND OFF (https://www.soundofffestival.com), dedicated to the Deaf performing arts. If “Deafy” is an example of the quality theatrical storytelling they’re sharing, then I am all on board for more. 

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