Student Profile: Brooke Palmer

Undergraduate researcher Brooke Palmer is writing an original play that will be performed with American Sign Language in mind.

Major: Theatre Arts

Mentor: Patch Clark

School: Theatre and Dance

Project Title: “Performing in American Sign Language – ‘The Magic of Winter from Around the World’”

I am writing a show that will be performed in English and American Sign Language. This will give the actors in the show the chance to see how similar theatre and ASL are to one another. It also provides a night of entertainment for a wider audience to enjoy.

How did you get involved in undergraduate research?

I got involved by helping previous theatre students with their Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity awards.

Why did you choose your research topic?

I’ve always loved sign language, but I had no idea how similar it was to my other love – theatre – until I took a class my sophomore year. That class is also where I was stuck with the idea to do this project.

What’s been your favorite part of conducting undergraduate research?

My favorite part has been hosting my ASL theatre club and teaching the members different stories in sign language.

What challenges have you faced while conducting undergraduate research?

Writing the script has been challenging for the show has been challenging. I’ve had the story since the beginning, but trying to write it with both English and ASL in mind has proven difficult.

Why is your research important for the average, everyday person?

I think it’s important to show how simple and uncomplicated it is to be more inclusive in everyday activities and events, such as plays or performances.

What’s your ultimate goal or accomplishment that you hope your research will help you achieve?

My ultimate goal is to see how my actors’ knowledge opinions, and perceptions of the use of ASL in theatre will change through this experience; how it may or may not have altered and if they plan to use it in their future.

How do you feel that participating in undergraduate research has helped prepare you for life after college?

Yes. It helped prove to myself that I can handle large tasks and projects.

Do you have any advice for other students interested in conducting undergraduate research?

Don’t listen to the doubts that creep up. This may be a new endeavor, and that can be kind of scary, but if you’re passionate about the work and the results, it is all worth it.