Retired Saline Area Schools choir teacher Norma Freeman is the subject of SIGNing the Song, an acclaimed one-man show by William Martineze.
SIGNing to Show plays at 7 p.m., Oct. 5 in the Ellen Ewing Performing Arts Center at Saline High School.
William Martinez was a student of Freeman’s when she taught at Prairie Middle School near Denver, before she came to Saline.
Through American Sign Language paired with singing, SIGNing The Song shares the true life story of a boy wanting to belong. William was raised in a silent home with a single-mother who could not speak or hear. He had little exposure to TV, radio, or movies. He failed every class in school and was bullied as a special education student.
Because of his incredible eighth grade music teacher, Norma Freeman, and the love and support of his parents he came out of his silent world and discovered his voice through music. Audiences will watch how ASL (American Sign Language) and song lyrics meld together into a beautiful unique art form. William is now a professional singer. He tours nationally with numerous musical shows performing opera, Broadway, pop, jazz and other musical styles as well as showcasing his one-man show “SIGNing The Song”. He is a proud member of Actors Equity.
Paying tribute to the teaching profession Martinez tells of his life and transformation in story, song, and sign language. Not only does the audience learn about deaf culture, but they also learn some American Sign Language at the same time. This one-man show celebrates the incredible impact educators and parents have on each child’s life…regardless of their struggles.
Earlier this year, Freeman won the Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award and the $10,000 that comes with it. She was nominated by Martinez.