Indiana School for the Deaf Auditorium Named for RIT/NTID Alumnus

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Officials at the Indiana School for the Deaf in Indianapolis have just named the school's auditorium after Matthew Scott Moore, a 1983 Social Work graduate of RIT/NTID.

Moore is the first graduate of the school to be so honored. “I am so touched by this honor, since I had performed onstage in the auditorium,” Moore said.

He also was active in theater while at RIT/NTID and after graduation, when he portrayed Captain Hook in “Peter Pan in 2002.” He’s expected to portray Willie Wonka in next spring’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” in NTID’s Robert F. Panara Theatre.

Members of Moore’s graduating class of 1977 from ISD were present for the dedication ceremony, as were alumni, students, teachers, friends and NTID President Gerry Buckley. Art teachers at the school engaged students to make paintings of Moore based on photographs. One also included the covers of Deaf Life magazine, a monthly publication Moore founded in 1987 and continues to publish from his home in Rochester. He also is a popular speaker and has started a version of Deaf Life in Japan.

One of the paintings (depicted with this story) portrays Moore signing “Deaf Life” and was done by applying paint with fingertips as a community art project by some 400 students, faculty and staff.

Several congratulatory comments were published in a program for the dedication. Peter Cook, a distinguished poet and performer, called Moore “a visionary entrepreneur who always sees the large picture for the Deaf community so that it can thrive in the mainstream spotlight externally. That is a rare gem.”

Bonnie Meath-Lang, professor emeritus and former artistic director of NTID Performing Arts, recalls Moore created wonderful characters in productions such as “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” He also built sets, hung lights, directed studio productions and wrote original work.

“He fiercely embraced his phenomenal love for language, and made it visible,” she said. “Matthew is a Renaissance man whose many talents pull him in a hundred directions, both here and abroad. Yet I cannot think of a better tribute for one whose passion for theater has emerged at every stage of his life, whose dedication has inspired the next generation of performers and whose belief that theater can teach and change the world, than to see the heart of his beloved school called the Matthew Scott Moore Theatre.”

Moore said he appreciated the honors and enjoyed the dedication ceremony and festive banquet that followed. “My work is not finished,” he said.