Deafblind Circus, is a short, Perkins produced film that documents students and staff of the Perkins Deafblind Department putting on a circus in 1969. The film is 9 minutes long, shot in 16mm, in color and with sound It is part of the series called “The World of Deaf-Blind Children”, which also includes the film “How They Communicate.”
The film was shot behind the Keller-Sullivan Cottage on the Watertown campus. The first deafblind circus occurred in 1967 but this was not filmed. The 1969 performance was open to the public, allowing the students to showcase their abilities to the community. It is described in the 1974 Perkins Annual Report as illustrating the need deafblind children have for social and group activity and was distributed for educational use.
The children made many of the costumes, props and performed in the circus along with the teachers. The 1969 Perkins Annual Report states that the deafblind students talked about this circus for a long time afterward. One deafblind student, Chan Poh Lin wrote a poem about the circus, called “The Circus of 1969”, which was published in the June 1969 issues of The Lantern. The poem and editorial note is included below:
“Department for Deafblind Children.” Perkins School for the Blind Annual Report, 1969, pp. 10-13. The Internet Archive
“Films from the Perkins School for the Blind.” Perkins School for the Blind Annual Report, 1974, pp. 14. The Internet Archive
“The Perkins Deaf-Blind Department Circus.” The Lantern, 1967, vol. 37, no. 1, Sept. 1967, pp. 31. The Internet Archive
“The Perkins Film Library.” The Lantern, 1967, vol. 44, no. 2, March. 1975, pp. 12-16. The Internet Archive
“Presenting Perkins, The Films of Robert M. Campbell.” Perkins Archives Blog, 2019, Feb. 7