Happening hands: the ASL spring show


Danny Tajimaroa

Junior Andrew Eason signs along to the tune USS Loveboat during Wed. Mar. 26’s performance of the ASL Happening Hands Show. Proceeds from the show go to scholarships for deaf and hard of hearing students at CHS.

The Carlsbad High School ASL department proudly presented “Happening Hands”–the ASL spring show.

This show took place on March 25 and 26 at 7:00 in the Carlsbad Cultural Arts Center. The show included 33 acts performed by students from ASL II-IV. Songs such as “Hey Mickey” and “Dark Horse” were signed to and performed with props and costumes in front of a full audience.

“The purpose of the event is for students to showcase what they have learned and show off their talents,” sophomore and ASL show participant Riley Desmarais said.

Not only does the ASL show demonstrate what ASL students learn throughout the year, but it is also a scholarship program that provides opportunities for students to gain scholarships for college.

“Proceeds from the ASL show support our scholarships we provide for all of our deaf and hard of hearing students on our campus,” ASL I and IV teacher Mrs. Newsom-Wuertz said. “Any of them will in fact get a scholarship and then we have a scholarship application for our students that are hearing and planning on attending college and majoring in or continuing their studies in deaf studies, sign language, or interpreting.”

Happening hands gets put on twice a year; one in the fall and one in the spring. Students prepared for the show outside of school and even gave up their lunch times to practice.

“It takes us about twelve weeks to prepare for a show,” Mrs. Newsom-Wuertz said. “We start off slow and practice about ten minutes a day and pick the songs and then the last couple of weeks there are full periods of practice. You make it or break it and cross your fingers.”

Props and the tech crew were all student-based and parent volunteers helped too as well as other contributors. Normally seniors and juniors participate in the show, but this year several sophomores had the opportunity to be in it and they got introduced as “special guests”.

“There were not enough people to perform the song “Fireflies” so I and a few sophomores in my ASL II class who were interested in joining got to perform in the show,” Desmarais said. “I was honored to be able to participate and I cannot wait to  be a part of the show again next year.”

ASL students’ hard work paid off in their two hour show. They were able to show that ASL is it’s own entity and they were also able to recruit students for ASL classes next year.

“The ASL show, beyond being fun, was a way to express things in a new format,” junior and ASL show participant Jackson Brians said. “It was very different than writing an essay or giving a speech; performing another language in front of an audience is really unique.”