Put Your Hands Up

The annual Plano Independent School District (PISD) American Sign Language (ASL) show is coming around again for its eighth year in the making. Featuring all the PISD high schools, it is a show composed entirely in ASL.

“Students elect to participate and present interpreted songs, short skits, ASL poetry, handshape stories, and more,” ASL teacher Elizabeth Ellis said. “Students of ASL can demonstrate their studies and prowess in American Sign Language.”

While this year’s theme is still in the works, it is told to likely be along the lines of “Friendship Transcends Our Differences.”

“I am most excited for the song our whole club is doing,” senior Courtney Dowdy said. “It’s from a movie that came out in 1997, when a lot of the current seniors were born, and it’s all about looking to the future.”

Any ASL student, regardless of level, is allowed to participate as long as performances are prepared and practiced.

“I have watched my students in the past walk away with a sense of pride in their accomplishment and in facing the fear of performing on stage, newfound friendships and joy in the teamwork and camaraderie the experience affords,” Ellis said.

Anyone is welcome to attend the show, however students hope to reach out to the deaf community in particular.

“We put on this show to display what the language is and the beauty of it as well as show some of the culture within ASL,” senior Ethan Thompson said.

Free and open to the public, this year’s show was held on Saturday, May 2 at Plano Senior High School at 7 p.m.

“From this experience, we gain knowledge about the deaf community and deaf culture as a whole,” Dowdy said. “As the phrase goes in ASL, we get to ‘dive into the deaf world’ and have fun while doing it.”