Barry McNamara  |  Published October 18, 2022

‘Inclusion Is an Intention’

National speaker Jo-Ann Dean to teach master class on making theatre more inclusive to the deaf.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – Monmouth College students and faculty will learn what more can be done to make theatre more inclusive to members of the deaf community.

JO-ANN DEAN: Guest speaker is CEO of SIGNmation, a New York City-based organization that promotes... JO-ANN DEAN: Guest speaker is CEO of SIGNmation, a New York City-based organization that promotes deaf artists and American Sign Language and culturally accessible content for arts.Jo-Ann Dean, CEO of SIGNmation, a New York City-based organization that promotes deaf artists and American Sign Language (ASL) and culturally accessible content for arts, will be on campus Oct. 24 to lead the conversation.

Dean will speak at 7 p.m. in Wells Theater, along with Mary Hould, a New York City-based actor/singer who works professionally as an ASL interpreter and media consultant. Their presentation will be a master class covering creative marketing, funding and outreach to create a box office draw to untapped audiences: the deaf and hard of hearing, blind and disability community.

Sponsored by Pat Elmone, who was originally from Monmouth and attended high school with Monmouth theatre professor Doug Rankin, the event is free and open to the public.

Why a master class on inclusion and access?

“Theatre is for everyone. Inclusion is an intention,” said Dean. “How do we do it? What do we do? These two questions always follow the ‘Why?’ Inclusion is not an afterthought or to be added in post-production or marketing. It starts at conception in your budget. Put a line in your budget for accessibility.”

Dean said that basic concept applies, whether an individual is studying the arts as an actor, director, writer, producer or stage manager.

“Learn how to make your show you cast, create or produce be as diverse on stage as your audiences,” she said. “Draw new audiences to your box office and learn creative ways to fund accessibility. Diversity in theatre cannot be truly achieved without including the disability community.”

Dean is a producer of new media, open caption screenings and ASL-interpreted panels within film, theatre festivals and the entertainment industry. Her company produces and promotes deaf artists and ASL productions, both live and streaming, with culturally accessible content for arts, theater, film and television. It offers creative consulting for fiscal budgets, grants and community outreach for its clients’ productions.

Back to News & Events

Did you know?

  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College covers the cost for all current students to get a U.S. passport. Unlock access to over 198 different countries! We’ll even help with the paperwork :)</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/study-abroad/" target="_blank">Study Abroad</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 99% of Monmouth students received some type of scholarship or financial assistance.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/types-of-aid/scholarships/" target="_blank">Scholarships</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers unique academic minors in Global Public Health and Global Food Security for students who want to use their education to address global challenges. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-public-health/" target="_blank">Global Public Health</a></li><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-food-security/" target="_blank">Global Food Security</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers several international trips each year during 2-week Scots Terms in January and May. Recently students have traveled to Botswana, Greece, Scotland, Japan, and more. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Scots Term</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We’re no stranger to winning. Last year the Fighting Scots won Midwest Conference championships in Football, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Track and Field. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Fighting Scots</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 98% of Monmouth graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/wackerle-center/career-services/" target="_blank">Career Preparation</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is proudly test optional. Applicants may choose whether or to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission and scholarship consideration. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/admission/apply/test-optional/" target="_blank">Test Optional</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We offer a certified Peace Corps Preparation program that gives Peace Corps bound graduates a leg up in the application process.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/peace-corps-prep/" target="_blank">Peace Corps Prep</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p><strong>Monmouth College is the birthplace of the women’s fraternity movement. Pi Beta Phi, the first such collegiate women’s organization, was founded at Monmouth in 1867. It was followed three years later by Kappa Kappa Gamma. The two pioneering organizations today boast a total of 275 active chapters nationwide.</strong></p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/student-life/sororities-fraternities/" target="_blank">Sororities & Fraternities</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an educational garden and 6.7 acre farm. Students grow and harvest fruits and vegetables to sell at the local farmer’s market. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Garden & Farm</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an active Pipe & Drum Band. Each year on Scholar’s Day in April the bagpipers wake students up at 6:00 a.m. by playing in the residence halls!</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/music/pipe-band/" target="_blank">Pipe Band</a></li></ul></div></aside>