The Transformations Project

TRANSFORMATIONS: This Happens to Me Every Day

By Dawn Jani Birley and Kate Alton / Volcano

This Happens to Me Every Day tells the story of a well-travelled deaf artist’s terrifying experience of flying internationally when COVID-19 first hit. Dawn Jani Birley (writer, singer, performer), born to a third-generation deaf family in Saskatchewan, is a multi-award-winning actor with a Master of Arts in Physical Theatre with Merit from St. Mary’s University in London, UK. Kate Alton (director, writer, editor) is an acclaimed Canadian dance and theatre artist with an interest in ASL and deaf culture.

This piece was created through remote collaboration between Canadian-born Dawn Jani Birley (1s1 Theatre) working in Finland - the north of which has been part of the Saami homeland since time immemorial - and Kate Alton working in Toronto (aka Tkaronto). We respectfully acknowledge the traditional caretakers of Tkaronto, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. Kate primarily works in “Dish with One Spoon” territory, created by a treaty between the Anishnaabe, Mississaugas, and Haudenosaunee that bound them to share the territory and protect the land. Kate also lives and works on land that was part of the Toronto Purchase, Treaty 13. We would like to acknowledge that this statement does nothing to remedy the wrongs perpetrated against the original caretakers of these lands.

Commissioned by Volcano. Music by Paul Kolinski. Camera operation by Marianne Aro.

ASL with English subtitles.