Christopher Tester, AEA
I have a great passion for theatre arts and believe in making the theatre enjoyable and accessible for everyone. I have worked with different theatre and theatrical projects off and on since college. In January 2017, I founded ASL Cabaret NYC with a small team of friends, and it is exciting to see it grow into something very meaningful in NYC.
As an actor, my most recent work was as John Singer in “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. It was such a profound experience exploring loneliness and loss of friendship. Additionally, I received my first AEA contract with this show! During the summer of 2016, I performed in my very first musical ever. I performed as Perchik in Fiddler on the Roof with Lyric Theatre in Oklahoma alongside fabulous Sandra Mae Frank from Spring Awakening. What a ride that was, to learn to sing (in ASL) and dance at the same time, with choreography was far harder than I expected but a thrilling and rewarding experience. I plan to continue to act along with fellow Deaf actors and non-deaf actors to create a bridge between two languages and two worlds.
I don’t only act, I also consult on scripts for Deaf characters, provide ASL or BSL coaching, translating English script to American Sign Language, and provide training on understanding Deaf role and communications.
Here’s a brief summary of my experience.
- The Heart is a Lonely Hunter: John Singer. The Arkansas Repertory Theatre. Directed by John Miller-Stephany
- Twelfth Night: Cameo with NYDT Public Works. Directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah
- Fiddler on the Roof: Perchik. Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. Directed by Michael Baron
- Rocky Horror Picture Show: Brad. ASL Rocky (Midnight Show)
- New York Deaf Theatre (NYDT) productions:
- Captive Audience: TV Man; David Attenborough; Bill 1; Gorph; Jeremy. Directed by Garrett Zucherer
- Beyond Therapy: Bruce. Directed by Garrett Zucherer
- Sign Me Alice: Mark. Directed by Darren Fudenske and Lauren Ridloff
British Sign Language Consultant:
- Movements of the Soul, London, UK (Consulting Producer, Ongoing Project as of 2019)
- Constellations. Manhattan Theatre Club.
- Constellations. Wilma Theatre. Philadelphia, PA
- Hyperglot. A short film produced and directed by Michael Levi Harris
American Sign Language Consultant:
- Tribes. Barrington Stage Company. Directed by Jenn Thompson
- I never Slept with Helen Keller. Playwrights Horizon. Directed by Lewis Merkin
- Broadway: “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”
- Off-Broadway: “Ain’t Misbehavin'”, “Melissa Arctic”
- ASL Interpreter consultant: “Next to Normal”, “Adventures of Tom Sawyer”