What's On

More Than Words Can Say

Catherine Dunn and Sam Martin

Presented in Season 2 2022

Allocation Exhausted – join the waitlist via the buy tickets button

World Premiere
Presented by Arts House, Catherine Dunn and Sam Martin as part of The Warehouse Residency 

Friday 26 – Saturday 27 August, 2022
All shows will be Auslan Interpreted

2 hours including Q&A with the artists

Please note: there is a lock-out for this performance so we encourage you to arrive early. Doors open 1 hour prior to the performance. 

Pay if you can $35
Standard $20
A small transaction fee will be charged per order.

Arts House
North Melbourne Town Hall
521 Queensberry St,
North Melbourne

Auslan Interpreting
Companion Card
Assistive Listening
Visual Rating 75%
Wheelchair Accessible
Assistance Animal
Quiet Space Available

An exploration and showcase of authentic script development for Deaf storytelling.

Storytelling is at the core of all cultures; providing a connection between the past, present and future.

Historically, fictional productions which include sign language have often begun with scripts that use the written text of a spoken language (Kusters and Fenlon, 2022). This obstructs the Deaf community’s opportunity to share their stories authentically, as actors are influenced by the written text with the additional challenges of translating it to a performed sign language.

Throughout their Warehouse Residency, Catherine Dunn and Sam Martin explored how Deaf storytelling could be developed without the influence of the traditionally oppressive spoken language.

Collaborating with five Deaf artists – Raquel Fasano, Dan Fox, Julia Murphy, Karthik Vijanandam and Franco Spadea – they experimented with different methods utilised by Deaf theatre companies around the world. Artists participated in a series of workshops facilitated by experienced practitioners in Deaf theatre at both national and international levels.

Culminating in a public showcase, More Than Words Can Say features developed scenes of Deaf theatre in Auslan and artists discussions that invites everyone to reimagine the future of storytelling, Deaf accessibility and inclusion of sign language

More Than Words Can Say, Photo by Ashton Jean-Pierre


Artist Statement

This Deaf-led project will provide a culturally safe space for Deaf artists to explore their creative processes beyond the limitations of a hearing-centric world in spoken language. Collaborators, Catherine Dunn (she/her) and Sam Martin (he/him) are excited to provide a space to empower Deaf artists to thrive in their own language. What does Deaf theatre look like beyond access requirements? What can Deaf artists create without being compared to hearing artists? What can Deaf artists do that hearing artists can’t? We will invite Deaf artists to reflect upon their relationship with signed stories and Audism to present a reflective performance in a final showcase open to the public.

- Catherine Dunn and Sam Martin

About the Artists

Catherine Dunn (she/her) is passionate about connecting people through her work both in the disability advocacy sector and as an emerging artist. Her art practice includes explorations through poetry (in both Auslan and English), physical performance and visual arts. Performance highlights include Auslan poetry titled ‘Am I Deaf Enough?’ presented by Flow Festival 2021. She was a collaborating artist in ‘Hearts Beyond’, creating visual artwork “Staying Apart Keeps Us Together’ for site-specific public art exhibition as part of FUSE Festival 2021 with Luke King and Dan Goronszy Arts. Inspired by her lived experiences as a Deaf Queer woman, she is driven to provide spaces where people feel empowered individually and collectively.

Sam Martin (he/him) is a Deaf Gay/Queer creative producer and director passionate about the many facets of identities, inclusivity, navigating English and Auslan, and empowering and encouraging Deaf and queer communities. He has worked and continues to work within theatre and film with a range of exciting projects. His award-winning short film “Deafying Gravity” was shown internationally and continues to tour nationally.


Led by Catherine Dunn and Sam Martin in collaboration with performers.
Performers: Raquel Fasano, Dan Fox, Julia Murphy, Karthik Vijanandam, Franco Spadea
Mentor: Jess Moody
Lab Facilitators: Jodee Mundy, Danni Wright and Salomon Gerber

More Than Words Can Say is supported by City of Melbourne through Arts House.

Image Credit: Photo by Ashton Jean-Pierre

Image Description: Two people sit at a small dining room table intimately signing to one another in Auslan over popcorn and red wine. Their gestures are captured in slow motion, blurring in speed and emotion as they communicate.  

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