Christopher Tester, PhD

Photo Credit: Dan J. Corey

Deaf and a Vermont native, Christopher Tester lived and worked in New York City, Edinburgh, Berlin and Washington, D.C. as an American, British Sign Language, and International Sign Interpreter, actor, consultant, and educator for nearly 15 years. He obtained his PhD from at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. He currently resides in Washington, D.C. and is an assistant professor at Gallaudet University’s department of interpretation and translation. While he has an extensive experience as an interpreter and educator, he is shifting his focus to hone his acting skills. See the as an actor page to learn more about his acting experience.

He is certified by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and holds Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) and Speciality Certificate: Legal (SC: L). He is also an accredited International Sign (IS) interpreter through the WFD-WASLI organizations. Further, he is a full member of AIIC. He has over 15 years of professional experience ranging as a former manager/ trainer at Sorenson Communications and as a Special Projects Coordinator and Investigator at the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights to working in private practice as an interpreter, educator and consultant. He was an interpreter instructor at the CUNY’s ASL-English Interpreting program in New York City. As a seasoned presenter, he specializes in workshop and seminar facilitation on topics including (but not limited to) disability rights and laws, deaf and hard of hearing awareness and American Sign Language and interpreting. (For a comprehensive list of workshops, please check the Services tab).

Christopher received his Bachelor’s degree at the College of the Holy Cross and his Professional Certificate from the Interpreter Education Program at LaGuardia Community College. He completed his graduate studies through the European Masters in Sign Language Interpreting (EUMASLI) program. To learn more about the EUMASLI programme, check out www.EUMASLI.eu.

Christopher is always thrilled to travel to a new place, meet local community members, and provide educational training or interpreting services.

Contact him at tester.christopher@gmail.com

As an Actor

Christopher Tester, AEA

Photo Credit: Dan J. Corey

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. As an actor, I recently returned to theatre after a 5-year hiatus to pursue my PhD in sign language interpretation and translation. I joined a fantastic bilingual (ASL & English, Deaf and hearing) production of the Music Man at the Olney Theatre Center, playing two characters, a young deaf boy with a lisp, Winthrop Paroo and a member of the quartet, Oliver Hix. It was a fun challenge to play a young kid and attempt to portray sign language variations while maintaining a lisp. I incorporated some international sign and British sign language. I am now determined to delve into acting full-time and shift my focus to television and film. Wish me luck.

Before moving to Scotland to work toward my doctorate, I performed 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 acted 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 simultaneously with choreography was far more challenging than I expected but a thrilling and rewarding experience. I plan to continue acting along with fellow Deaf and non-deaf actors to create a bridge between two languages and worlds.

I don’t only act; I also consult on scripts for Deaf characters, provide ASL or BSL coaching, translate English scripts to American Sign Language, and provide training on understanding Deaf roles and communications.

Here’s a summary of my experience.

Actor:

  • The Music Man: Winthrop Paroo & Oliver Hix (quartet member). The Olney Theatre Centre. Directed by Michael Baron & Sandra Mae Frank
  • 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

Theatre Interpreting:

  • 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.”

As an Educator

Christopher Tester, PhD provides tailored services based on your needs. The services range from interpreting to consulting and provide educational training.

He has developed a variety of interpreter training series. From online webinars to a hybrid approach of online lectures with personal hands-on practice and monthly training sessions.

Christopher has been an assistant professor at Gallaudet University from 2021-2023 within the department of interpretation and translation (DOIT) and an adjunct faculty for the CUNY’s ASL-English interpreting program in New York City from 2013-2019.

Types of Services:

Disability Sensitivity Training

Legal Interpreting/ Consulting

Theatre Interpreting/ Consulting

Workshops for Interpreters

If you cannot find exactly what you are looking for, or want to inquire about a specific service, please feel free to contact him at the email below.

tester.christopher@gmail.com

As an Interpreter

Christopher Tester, PhD, CDI, SC:L and is WFD-WASLI accredited International Sign (IS) interpreter.

Christopher Tester has received extensive training in interpreting at LaGuardia Community College’s English/ASL Interpreting Education Program. He continued his training through the European Masters in Sign Language Interpreting program and his Doctor of Philosophy at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. He also worked and managed 70+ sign language interpreters during his tenure as a manager/trainer at Sorenson Communications. Additionally, he has had extensive legal interpreting training. With his experience, he has a wide range of skills and flexibility to work in different situations. Together, we can be creative and find new solutions to overcome communication barriers and ensure premium access for the clients involved. ¬†Below is the list of areas of experience and services he provides.

Conferences (In ASL)

  • AIIC full member (English -> ASL)
  • Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research (TISLR) conference, Hamburg, Germany (2019)
  • Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research (TISLR) conference, Melbourne, Australia (2016)
  • National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf’s conference, New Orleans, LA (2015)
  • Conference of Interpreter Trainers (CIT) conference in Portland, OR (2015)
  • Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research (TISLR) conference, London, England (2013)

Conferences (in International Sign)

  • Accredited IS Interpreter (World Federation of the Deaf – World Association of Sign Language Interpreters)
  • Webinar sessions with multiple NGOs via zoom (ongoing)
  • World Federation of the Deaf’s Congress, Paris, FR (2019)
  • World Association of Sign Language Interpreter Conference, Paris, FR (2019)
  • United Nations, New York, NY (Annual Conference of State Parties)
  • United Nation’s General Assembly webcast (2015)
  • World Association of Sign Language Interpreter Conference in Istanbul, Turkey (2015)

American Sign Language <-> British Sign Language

  • University College of London’s BSL linguistics seminars
  • BBC See Hear BSL-ASL interviews with American Deaf individuals
  • One Year British Sign Language immersion in Brighton, England in 2001-2002
  • Disability Film Festival in New York City, 2011

Legal Interpreting

  • Qualified to work in New York, New Jersey and California’s state court system
  • Professionally Qualified interpreter for the US Federal Courts
  • Depositions
  • Attorney-client privileged communications
  • Police interviews

Public Service Interpreting and Healthcare Interpreting

  • Medical
  • Medical appointments.
  • Psychiatric Hospital and Mental Health Services
  • Government Services
  • Worked with City, State and Federal agencies such as, but not limited to, NYC Housing Authority, US Department of Motor Vehicles, Social Security Administrations, and F.E.G.S: Health and Human Services Systems.

Tactile ASL interpreting (working with the DeafBlind population)

  • Helen Keller National Center, Long Sands, NY
  • LightHouse in San Francisco, CA