MORRISTOWN, NJ - This November, Morristown High School will be putting on a performance of The Miracle Worker, which follows the relationship between Helen Keller, and her teacher Annie Sullivan.
MHS Theatre has used their production of The Miracle Worker to spread love and awareness to the hearing impaired community, and they will have their Sunday show interpreted by Nicole Safford, who currently works as a Language Services Coordinator at Richmond University Medical Center in Staten Island.
Safford first became an interpreter in 1996, when she took an ASL (American Sign Language) class. Originally, Safford took this class as a foreign language requirement in college. “I figured wow, five credits, I have seen the interpreters on the corner of the screen, how hard could it be?” she comments. However, from day one Safford knew that she had found her calling. “The language, the culture, the history, I was just mesmerized. I went home and I told my parents that I wanted to be an interpreter.” she adds.
Safford went on to take ASL 1-4, and followed by taking a one year interpreting program. She began interpreting in a Brooklyn High School, and then continued her work in New Jersey. Safford interpreted in educational buildings, psychiatric hospitals, and freelanced on the side. She additionally taught an ASL class and the same interpreting program she graduated from.
She continues her work at the Richmond University Medical Center, where she coordinates the appointments for the spoken languages to ensure that every Limited English Proficient patient and caregiver has their rights upheld, and that they get the appropriate language services. She additionally interprets ASL via phone, video relay or as a live interpreter.
Safford has always had a love and passion for different languages and cultures. “My parents always knew that I would do something with it,” she adds. She did just that. Safford became an interpreter, teacher, and advocate for the hearing impaired, but she fell in love and married a deaf man. Safford and her husband have two kids, and she has taught both of them sign language, so they can communicate with their dad, and the deaf community.
MHS Theater sent personal invitations to surrounding schools for the hearing impaired, inviting them to attend. "The School for the Deaf at Governor Livingston HS in Berkeley Heights has already contacted us that they have individuals who will be attending," comments Vicky Bashant, president of the MHS Theater Parents Association.
Come see The Miracle Worker at Morristown HS on November 22nd @7pm (MSD Miracle Worker Honors); Saturday, November 23rd @2pm (special pre-show event with The Seeing Eye @12:30) and 7pm or Sunday, November 24th at 2pm (ASL Interpreters at this show).
Tickets on sale now: MHS.booktix.com