Eyes Alive! Deaf Elementary Theater

The Eyes Alive! Deaf Elementary Theater is a performing arts troupe at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB). As an after-school program, Eyes Alive! introduces students to theatrical arts opportunities, and ties in American Sign Language (ASL) storytelling and Deaf culture with skits and short plays. Jessica Stultz, Deaf Elementary teacher, founded the troupe in the fall of 2010 for young elementary-age students. In the spring of 2011, 25 deaf/hard of hearing students from the first to fifth grades produced two short plays based on the classic tales Rapunzel and Rumpelstiltskin.

Group photo of the 2015 Eyes Alive Cast.

In the fall of 2011, the program changed from performing live on stage to creating ASL movies. For five months, Eyes Alive! teachers and students performed two days a week on their movie. In the spring of 2012, The Wizard of Oz was released. The movie was uploaded to YouTube and garnered over 250,000 views in its first year. It was also selected for the 11th Annual Maine Deaf Film Festival.

Eyes Alive! followed up their first movie with another classic tale, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Expanding on the success of their first film, Snow White had a cast three times the size of their first film and was shot at multiple locations around St. Augustine, including Castle Otttis, St. Francis Inn, and the Fountain of Youth. Just like the previous film, Snow White was selected to play at the Annual Maine Deaf Film Festival.

Watch The Shepherd Boy and The Wolf performed by the Eyes Alive! Deaf Elementary Theater.

For the 2013-2014 school year, Eyes Alive! went in a slightly different direction. Instead of making one movie, the group decided to produce three short films based off of Aesop’s Fables. The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf, The Goose with the Golden Eggs, and The Tortoise and the Hare, were all shot on location with a cast made up of fourth and fifth graders. The group will continue to build a library of Aesop Fables by adding two more films, The Lion and the Mouse and The Honest Woodcutter. Both will be filmed in the spring of 2015 and released to the public later that fall.

For more information, contact:

Jessica Stultz
Director, Eyes Alive! Deaf Elementary Theater