Celebrating the power of play, the joy of communication and the positive force of friendship, Stan (named after the T-Rex at Manchester Museum) is a powerful and poignant new production, commissioned by Z-arts and developed by Art with Heart with the help of over 200 deaf and hearing primary school children from Greater Manchester. The production positively demonstrates how we can overcome language barriers, and challenges preconceptions of deafness.
Sam (Ross Thompson) is a happy, dinosaur loving 8-year-old whose world turns upside down after his parents separate. As he takes himself off to the far end of the school field, he meets Alex (Alexandra James), a deaf girl with a vivid imagination – and an impressive collection of dinosaurs.
Alex is from a proud deaf family and despite being socially isolated at school, she is strong, smart, sociable and imaginative. The pair form an unlikely friendship and when things at home become too difficult for Sam, Alex whisks him away on an astonishing adventure to meet the almighty Stan, the gigantic T-Rex at Manchester Museum.
Stan from Sarah Emmott (Secret Diaries, Declaration) is written and performed in English and British Sign Language and embeds creative captions within the set. The play will be accompanied by post-performance workshops, an education pack including a video of BSL signs to help hearing and deaf children communicate, three Deaf Awareness training events and a dinosaur object handling box with some fascinating objects from Manchester Museum’s collections. The post-performance workshop will be BSL Interpreted and has been designed with both deaf and hearing children in mind.
Sarah Emmott comments Growing up, my parents lived very separate lives (so) my imagination was both my safe escape and my resource to help me understand myself, my feelings and our family situation. I wanted to create a play that reflected how vital imaginative play is as a form of communication, not only with others but with ourselves.
Z-arts commented Art with Heart have put children at the heart of the creation of Stan and tackled tricky issues whilst creating positive representation and a super fun show for families to enjoy. We are so excited to bring this show to Z-arts and for as many of our friends, families and schools to see it as possible.