American Sign Language, theater department combine forces

Rosa Johnson, Copy Editor

Deaf and hearing communities will raise its hands together for “Deaf Puppy Dog Follow,” a two-man comedy presented exclusively in American Sign Language.

The play combines sketches, poetry, solo stories, comedy and folk tales that parody contemporary themes in deaf culture.

Linfield adjunct professor of American Sign Language, Heath Goodall, will be hosting this event with Patrick Fisher.

Goodall became Deaf shortly after birth, but wasn’t introduced to ASL until his senior year of high school.

Goodall completed his undergraduate at the University of New Mexico and graduate work at Western Oregon University.

Goodall also teaches ASL courses at Portland Community College and Chemeketa Community College when he is not at Linfield.

Goodall is a master storyteller, performer, actor, and ASL poet.

Along with his other artistic outlets, Goodall enjoys drawing with pencil, charcoal, and ink.

Patrick Fischer, Goodall’s partner for the show, has been involved in a variety of artistic positions as an artist, board member, actor, director, producer, teacher, and consultant. Fischer has done storytelling, poetry, emcee, skits, and comedy all around the U.S. and Canada.

When Fisher is not in the theatre, he teaches American Sign Language and currently is a certified ASLTA professional instructor at Portland Community College.

He is a director of artistic Sign Language at Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland and is also a professional artist and owner of a freelance design business. Fischer launched a theatrical business in 2005, providing various services to those who want to learn more about theatre through the experiences of those who are deaf.

In July 2013, Fisher was awarded the Stephen M. Ryan Teacher of the Year award for outstanding contributions to the understanding of Deaf culture and humor in deaf studies presented by American Sign Language Teachers Association.

The English Language and Culture Program, the Department of Theatre and Communication Arts, the Department of Modern Languages, and the Linfield Offices of Academic Affairs and Multicultural Programs sponsor this performance.

The play is free and open to the public, for more information call the Theater Department at (503) 883-2802 or visit “Deaf Puppy Dog Follow” will be at 7 p.m. Friday, March 14 in Ice Auditorium.




Photo Courtesy of Natalie Gunn



Faculty members and friends (from left) Sarah Maines, Natalie Gunn, Susan McDaniel and Erin G. McCarthy will perform at 4 p.m. on March 16 in Ice Auditorium.