New Castle News

Local News

February 25, 2013

New Castle man directs Hubbard High musical in which characters perform sign language

NEW CASTLE — At a young age, Rich Magazzine had good sense.

The Pulaski man followed his passion to help those with hearing loss, and all signs pointed him in the right direction.

Magazzine’s outreach has resulted in the first-of-its-kind presentation in this area — a musical, “Aladdin Junior” — for both a deaf and hearing audience at Hubbard High School. Call it a double dose of entertainment.

Eight years ago, he was hired by the district to teach American sign language as a foreign language. Magazzine said not many schools in eastern Ohio or western Pennsylvania have these classes in their curriculum.

A waiting list for the sign language courses is indicative of its popularity.

Currently, about 120 students are enrolled in ASL one, two and three, and mostly juniors and seniors from those classes are involved in the production.

It’s the first time for this time of presentation, with the costumed characters signing while simultaneously, voice-overs will be provided for the hearing.

“There are so few things for the deaf community,” Magazzine said. “And this is Disney family entertainment for those with and without hearing.”

His journey began when he was a junior at Boardman High School. Magazzine, 42, who is not hearing impaired, learned sign language from a pastor who was deaf. He then lived with an entire family in Cincinnati and during that time, traveled with a deaf choir. He became acutely aware  of the deaf community during the deaf pride movement that began with Gallaudet University in 1989.

After receiving his associate’s degree from Allegheny Community College, he became an interpreter and worked in that role with the Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV. He went on to receive his teaching degree from Slippery Rock University after student teaching at Wilmington High School.

He later learned that Hubbard searched for two years to find the right candidate to teach the sign language courses.

The school found it in Magazzine who was issued a dual certificate to teach sign language and social studies.

And he discovered his niche.

“Signing is a different language than others,” he said. “You can literally run into someone and use it.”

He describes the play as a scaled-down version of the original “Aladdin” but the music, costumes and dialogues is a full complement.

“All the actors on stage will sign and people in the stage area will voice. It’s the reverse of protocol.”

Magazzine continues to promote awareness.

“We’re doing something new for the community,” he said. “I’m hoping to provide a piece of deaf culture for the hearing and enjoyment for deaf people — an east meets west sort of thing. Ideally, it will open up doors for more of this.”

It’s a good sign.

(Email: lhudson@ncnewsonline.com)

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • 01.jpg Photo Gallery: Church’s tradition of Easter countdown continues

    Easter is keenly anticipated by Christians around the globe. But perhaps nowhere is its arrival more heralded than at Independent Methodist Church.

    April 18, 2014 11 Photos

  • Mahoning Township sets spring cleanup

    Mahoning Township will have its spring cleanup the weeks of April 28 and May 5. Residents should place items at the curb the day before their scheduled collection. They should be neatly bagged or bundled.

    April 18, 2014

  • Vo-Skills.jpg VoTech team claims silver medal state honors

    The Lawrence County Career and Technical Center boasts a team of disciplined, well-spoken winners. The school’s SkillsUSA team, comprised of 21 students, stood against other schools from throughout Pennsylvania last week in Hershey.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Columbia Gas announces pipeline replacement work

    Columbia Gas has scheduled a pipeline replacement project for New Castle. Beginning this month, the company will replace approximately 2,800 feet of existing steel pipe along Eastbrook and Paper Mill roads and Cascade Street. The project is expected to be completed in July.

    April 17, 2014

  • ESB Financial reports earnings increase

    ESB Financial Corp., parent company of ESB Bank, has announced an increase in earnings for the quarter ended March 31.

    April 17, 2014

  • Author.tiff Arthur the author: Children’s writer/illustrator visits Neshannock Elementary

    A story about a grandmother and her granddaughter flying over a city grew from the vivid imagination of children’s author Arthur Dorros. “Abuela” also spurred the creativity of students at Neshannock Memorial Elementary School who had eagerly awaited a visit from Dorros yesterday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Greer House changes name

    Greer House, a provider of assisted living services and care to seniors, has unveiled its new name. “We are thrilled about our new name — Clen-Moore Place,” said executive director Susan Leise, “because it better reflects our commitment to provide a vibrant environment where our residents thrive each and every day.

    April 16, 2014

  • Huston.jpg Greg Huston: Pirates pitching is porous and LeBron’s a phony

    The Buccos got swept this past weekend in their own personal house of horrors, otherwise known as Miller Park in Milwaukee. The Pirates will hover around .500 this year mainly because they do have some stars in Marte, McCutchen and Alvarez, and they play the right way with grit.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 01.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Students team up on paper pantry

    Food is not the only thing that sometimes is in short supply for those in need. With that in mind, students from seven Lawrence County high schools joined Westminster College sororities and fraternities Saturday in preparing a paper pantry for local residents.

    April 14, 2014 8 Photos

  • school.jpg Neshannock approves resignation, agreement, related legal fees

    The Neshannock school board accepted the resignation of business manager and board secretary Melissa Morosky Thursday. Morosky’s resignation is effective Wednesday.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo