Jody Cripps and Chris Dodd: In Conversation

Presented on 15 October 2022 during Part 2 of Curating for Change: The Work That Music Festivals Do in the World.

Chris Dodd is an award-winning Deaf actor, playwright, accessibility advocate and Governor General Innovation Award finalist. He is the founder and artistic director of SOUND OFF, Canada’s national festival devoted to Deaf performance. Chris holds a degree from the University of Alberta’s Drama program and has been working within Edmonton’s theatre community, and across Canada, for over 25 years. His play, Deafy, recently toured Ontario and will be presented as part of the Citadel Theatre’s 2022/23 season. It was recently published by Playwrights Canada Press as part of the anthology, “Interdependent Magic: Disability Performance in Canada”. Notable performances include the role of Alphonse in Ultrasound at Theatre Passe Muraille. Recent film credits include the role of Odin in the upcoming feature film, Finality of Dusk. In 2019 he was the recipient of the Guy Laliberté Prize for innovation and creative leadership by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Jody H. Cripps is an Assistant Professor of American Sign Language in the Department of Languages at Clemson University. Dr. Cripps obtained his doctorate in the Second Language Acquisition and Teaching program from the University of Arizona. Dr. Cripps’ research interests primarily focus on universal design, signed music, signed language pathology, ASL-English literacy, and pedagogical methods. Dr. Cripps’ latest grant allows for conducting ground-breaking ethnomusicological research in Canada on the creative process and production of a signed music showcase titled, “THE BLACK DRUM”, performed by a signing musical theater troupe, the sponsorship funded on the behalf of the Canadian Council of the Arts via Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf. This first of its kind musical incorporates Dr. Cripps’ signed music theories and was selected as one of ten acts entries chosen from more than 100 countries featured in a showcase at Clin d’Oeil Festival in Reims, France in July 2019. In addition to his teaching and research, he also serves as the Editor-in-Chief for the Society for American Sign Language Journal and the Vice President of The Gloss Institute, a non-profit organization providing educators and parents the necessary tools and resources to overcome the habitually low literacy (English) rates in deaf children.