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.


  • 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.”