Talking Hands celebrated an early Christmas with a silent party that had lots of action.
Contributed By Venessa Thor
On Dec. 11, for the first time ever, Talking Hands presented a silent drama at a Christmas party for the hearing-impaired.
Talking Hands is the arm that serves the hearing-impaired under City Harvest Community Services Association, and all its volunteers are trained in sign language. This year, they worked together with the City Harvest Church drama production team to put up non-speaking drama entitled The Cobbler.
Centered on a poor, single father’s sacrificial love for his rebellious teenage daughter, the drama brought across the message of Christmas: that love conquers all. With minimal use of speech, relying almost entirely on body movements and facial expressions, the dramatists skilfully drew the audience into the story and created an atmosphere of love. The drama ended on a touching note with the TH volunteers signing to the song “Have I Told You Lately” by Van Morrison.
The drama was presented at TH’s Christmas event, Christmas Story 2011 at the Gallery Hotel. The party theme was fairy tales and famous movies, and guests gamely arrived as characters from Alice In Wonderland, Aladdin, Pirates Of The Caribbean and more, in hope of winning the “Best Dressed Table” prize.
The TH volunteers, dressed up as elves, moved from table to table, serving food and making sure the event ran smoothly.
The party started with a game: guests embarked on a Christmas scavenger hunt in teams, searching for items such as bells, Santa hats and candy canes. The games were followed by the drama, which successfully set the feel-good mood in the ballroom.
Isaac Liang, who is hearing-impaired, came up to share his testimony following the drama. He was once a poor student struggling academically in his early years. Not willing to let his disability pull him down, he worked hard at his studies and managed to pass his PSLE and O-levels with flying colors, and eventually graduated from Nanyang Polytechnic at the age of 25. Today, Liang is a successful artist. His sketches have been published in books and exhibited. The difficulties he faced struck a chord with the guests; many of them were touched by his persevering spirit and were encouraged to never give up on their dreams.
After a final round of games and a lucky draw, the event closed with everyone song-signing the Christmas favorite, “Silent Night.” The atmosphere mellowed as the lights went out, and guests were handed a tea candle each. As they slowly passed the flame to one another, lighting up the room, the place was filled with the peace of Christmas and the smiles of the guests.
Even though few words were spoken that day, all present experienced the truth that love can overcome all barriers.