SuperDeafy is coming to campus

The Gallaudet campus community, the general public, and Multicultural Curriculum Transformation Conference participants will have special opportunities to view the award-winning film “No Ordinary Hero: The Superdeafy Movie” and to meet Superdeafy himself from 7 to 9 p.m. September 17 and 18 at Elstad Auditorium. Students from the Model Secondary School for the Deaf and Kendall Demonstration Elementary School also are encouraged to attend.

The film is about a deaf actor who plays a superhero on television but must look beyond his cape to help a deaf boy redefine what it means to be “normal.” In the process, he is inspired to change himself as well.

“This film will appeal particularly to the Gallaudet community because they’ll be able to identify with it,” said John Maucere, E-’87, who plays SuperDeafy and will appear at both showings. “It is based on true stories about our experiences as deaf kids, ranging from hearing parents to schools and the world out there.”

The film, which opened the Rome International Film Festival last week in Rome, Georgia, won the Shepard Award for innovative filmmaking. It features award-winning actress Marlee Matlin along with Michelle Nunes and Zane Hencker.

All three executive producers – Maucere; his brother Paul Maucere, E’-84; and Liz Tannebaum – are deaf, as well as director Troy Kotsur, E-’92. “No Ordinary Hero” became the first deaf film to enter the Screen Actors Guild.

The character of SuperDeafy, which Maucere created 15 years ago, has roots at Gallaudet. Maucere was an athlete growing up, he said, and did not discover the theatre arts until he enrolled at Gallaudet. That changed his life path, and he went on to found Deafywood and perform in skits. One of his most popular skit characters was SuperDeafy.

“The audience response was always enthusiastic and the character was popular,” Maucere said. “After I started performing at DeafNation events, I could see deaf kids loved SuperDeafy even though he’s a bit of a buffoon, so we decided a movie needed to be made.

“I’m looking forward to coming to Gallaudet. I’ve always wanted to show this film at Gallaudet,” Maucere said. “People should watch for a special moment, when a poster of Gallaudet University appears on screen.”

The showing is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and the Theatre and Dance Program. CAS Dean Dr. Genie Gertz and theatre professor Ethan Sinnott will also make remarks after each showing.

“Superhero films – Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman – are popular these days, but ‘No Ordinary Hero’ takes it to a whole other level because it appeals to both deaf and hearing audiences,” Gertz said. “John executes the title role in a very authentic manner, impressing not only the little boy in the film, but also legions of deaf and hard of hearing viewers the world over. We are excited to bring him and his film to campus because this is a wonderful opportunity for people here to see what deaf people can contribute to the world through theater and the arts, and to inspire our students to aim high in their future endeavors.”

The film is rated PG and is subtitled. Tickets are free and open to the public and can be reserved at (Wednesday, September 17) and (Thursday, September 18).

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