Swap Gigs with Sterling Riggs: Theatrical Interpreter - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Swap Gigs with Sterling Riggs: Theatrical Interpreter

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The actors from Stage One Productions, make the story of the most lovable reptile "Lyle the Crocodile" come alive. But imagine watching the entire show with no sound. That's exactly how six hearing impaired students from Cochran Elementary experience the world.

The best actor in this performance may be the one not in costume who sits just off the stage.

Kelli Sanchez does not need a microphone -- just her hands and facial expressions to tell the story.   

"We are kind of an extension of that stage," Kelli explains, "to provide an experience and feeling that anybody else would be getting."

The animated Theatrical Interpreter has been doing this for 10 years and spends hours getting ready for every show.

"It takes a lot of preparation as far as the different characters, she say. "Incorporating different songs and music if that is what it's going to be. It's not your everyday interpreting assignment. It's much different and very unique."

Interpreting the words is the easy part.  She is always thinking ahead to the next scene and has to relay music and feeling.

"When I originally did the observation a few days ago, it came on and I thought what am I going to do," she questioned. "I kind of just got creative with it and instead of trying to interpreter the rap itself, I was thinking outside of the box what a rapper looks like. What I might think a rapper looks like and I just went with it. I think it worked out."

Sanchez became interested in sign language in the 4th grade because she made some new hearing impaired friends.  From that day on, she wanted to learn more about sign language and help others.

"When I see them smiling and laughing and giggling and if they are laughing at me because a silly face I made, then I am doing my job," Sanchez said.  "I want them to enjoy that and have those experiences."

After the show, the kids all said Sanchez did a fabulous job and they loved Lyle the Crocodile!

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