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For Immediate Release
Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012

Deaf actors join OU play exploring relations with hearing community

     Rochester, Mich. – On Thursday, Oct. 4, Oakland University's theatre program will open its production season with the Michigan premiere of "Police Deaf Near Far" by David Rush. This thought-provoking play explores how the hearing and deaf communities relate to each other.

Daniel Durant plays Stinger and Anna Wyatt plays Roberta in Oakland University's and Terptheatre's production of "Police Deaf Near Far" by David Rush. Photo courtesy of Danny McDougall.
     Based on an event that occurred in Chicago in 1996, the story focuses on Stinger, a deaf activist trying to reconcile his devotion to his community and his feelings for Roberta, a sign language interpreter. Stinger's strong views and police officer Banterra's turmoil about his messy divorce combine to create the event at the heart of the play.

     For the first time ever at OU, every performance will be accessible to both hearing and deaf patrons. The play is being produced in partnership with TerpTheatre, which specializes in shadow-signing – an interpretation experience that is an art in itself and can be enjoyed by all members of the audience.

     Professor Karen Sheridan is directing the play, which features a cast of students training for careers in theatre, along with two professional deaf actors. Daniel Durant lives and works in Los Angeles and Garrett Zuercher is a New York-based actor.

     "We are so lucky to have found the perfect actors to help us tell the story," Sheridan said. "It's been a great experience for both the deaf and hearing company members."

     Each performance of "Police Deaf Near Far" will combine high drama and high art. The cast has accepted a profound responsibility to accurately address the difficulties faced by both law enforcement officers and members of the deaf community in situations like the one portrayed in the play.

     "Police Deaf Near Far" will run through Sunday, Oct. 14. For more information, including a production summary, interviews with the professional deaf actors and details on obtaining tickets online, visit and click on the PDNF news item.

     Tickets can also be purchased online through Star Tickets at, by phone at (800) 585-3737, or in person at either of two Oakland University campus locations – the Center for Student Activities office in the basement of the Oakland Center or at the box office in Varner Hall.

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Oakland University is a doctoral, research-intensive university located in Oakland County, Michigan. The university has 139 bachelor's degree programs and 127 graduate degree and certificate programs. Dedicated to delivering a distinctive undergraduate experience that is complemented by the strength of its graduate offerings and research accomplishments, Oakland University is organized into the College of Arts and Sciences, the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and the Schools of Business Administration, Education and Human Services, Engineering and Computer Science, Health Sciences, Nursing and The Honors College. Visit Oakland University on the Web at