Theatrical Trip

Patrick Fischer is from several generations of fine artists and actors from Europe and has seen many theatre productions which encouraged his extensive interest in all things relating to theatre and art. These interests led Patrick to be involved in a variety of artistic positions (artist, actor, performer, director, producer, and consultant) as well as participation in a variety of performances (storytelling, poetry, emcee, skits, and comedy) all around the nation and Canada.

Patrick was a board member for Northwest Theatre of the Deaf for 9 years. He was involved in several productions including producer of “This Land is Mime Land” in 1997 and “Deaf Star Search” in ’96 and ’98, director of the production “Tales from A Clubroom” in 1998 and “The Bad Seed” in 2001 as well as performing leading roles in “The Miser” in 1997 and “The Cat and the Canary” in 1998.

During his stint with NWTD, Patrick served as the sign language consultant/assistant director for the Hillsboro High School production of “Children of a Lesser God,” which won state honors in 1989. After he resigned from NWTD, Patrick continued to be involved in theatre as a film actor for C-Tran in Vancouver in 1998, for “When the Truth Lies” which he performed with Marlee Matlin in 1999, and for a Washington State Public Services Announcement in Olympia in 2000. Other theatrical affiliations have included working as the signed-performance consultant for the Tygre’s Heart Shakespeare Company from 1994 – 2002, appearing in the Portland Community College production of “Of Mice and Men” in 1990, and acting in Cleveland Signstage Theatre’s Vancouver Production of “The Good Doctor” in 1997.

Patrick was selected by Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games and The Coca-Cola Company to be one of the honored Community Hero Torchbearers for 1996 Atlanta Olympic. Also, judges who selected Patrick to be one of torchbearers were: Portland Rockies, Portland Rose Festival, Conkling Fiskum & McCormick, Inc., KGW (NBC), KATU (ABC), Statesmen Journal, Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, Hougan, Inc., Sports Hall of Fame, Small Business Administration, SOLV, Norcrest China Company, Governor’s Office, Portland Area Council of Camp Fire, Tri-Met, YMCA of Columbia-Willamette, Oregon Adventist Headquarters, and Stoel Rives Boley Jones & Grey. He was one of only 22 Deaf Community Hero Torchbearers to help bring the Olympic flame to Atlanta Games includes I. King Jordan, Jerald Jordan, and Marilyn Smith. His quote was: “I was extremely proud of carrying a torch with the actual Greek flame.”

In summer of 2001, Patrick received the opportunity to be trained professionally at DeafWest Theatre in North Hollywood, California where he was selected as one of top 14 advanced actors. His training at DeafWest’s Professional Summer School gave him a broader understanding of different theatrical techniques and allowed him to expand his creativity. His training included exposure to fellow actors (who hailed from all over the USA and Australia) as well as well-known instructors/directors (Phyllis Frelich, Bernard Bragg, Linda Bove, and many more) and several cast directors from “The Drew Carey Show,” “Will and Grace,” “Martin Show,” and “Sex in the City”) all of whom encouraged and enhanced his theatre skills.

Then in the summer of 2002, Patrick was selected as one of the top 12 advanced professional actors to be trained at the National Theatre of the Deaf (NTD) Actor’s Academy in Waterford, Connecticut. Patrick was fortunate enough to be trained by well-known instructors/directors. Getting his foot in the NTD’s “door” led Patrick to be selected as an actor in NTD’s national touring production of “Oh Figaro” during which he portrayed the character of Dr. Bart in 2002 – 2003. Patrick was a children’s performer in “The Giving Tree” for NTD’s Little Theatre of the Deaf. In between bouts with NTD in the fall of 2003, Patrick was one of ten mentors (all of whom were equity actors, directors, and artists) for the Haven Project that provided acting workshops for disadvantaged children in the Afield Program in Portland, Oregon. After this, Patrick went back to NTD’s Little Theatre of the Deaf and performed in “The Giving Tree” and “Poetry in Motion” during the 2003 – 2004 national tour.

Patrick’s rich experiences with DeafWest Theatre and NTD gave him the skills to continue to work with children as an instructor and actor in “The Three Musketeers” with the Deaf Youth Drama Program under Seattle Children’s Theatre with Billy Seago in Seattle, Washington in the summer of 2004. Patrick taught improvisational acting techniques and provided ASL translations during workshops for high school, middle school, and elementary school students, who were both Deaf and hearing. In May of 2005, Patrick volunteered for Howie Seago at his Family Retreat Program as a workshop instructor and director in producing and acting in a drama program for children of all ages.

From Patrick’s experiences and training in different aspects of theatre, he grew to enjoy sharing and passing on his exposure and knowledge. Patrick launched his theatrical business in August of 2005, providing various services to those who want to learn more about theatre through deaf’s eyes. He volunteered his services for a non-profit organization to help raise funds to provide workshops and performances in ASL Literature. When Patrick is not “working” in theatre, he teaches American Sign Language (ASL), Deaf Studies, Interpreter Training Program, and currently is a certified ASLTA (Professional) instructor in Portland, OR. Patrick is a Director of Artistic Sign Language at Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, OR. Patrick is also a professional artist and owner of a freelance design business, “Infinity Design.” Check out his Design Services.

In July 2013 Patrick was awarded the Stephen M Ryan Teacher of the Year for outstanding contributions to the understanding of deaf culture and humor in deaf studies presented by American Sign Language Teachers Association in Charlotte North Carolina.

~ mrshineyhead

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