Randy Rutherford is the creator/performer of 7 solo shows. All receive critical acclaim (23 4½-5 star reviews); 3 refer to his hearing.
At age 25, Randy Rutherford was a successful folksinger when he experienced the onset of a serious progressive hearing loss.
His world collapsed. He finally found life again by painting - and won awards - but it was isolating, lonely. Then: theatre.
Legally deaf with 80% hearing loss in both ears, he can't hear to play in clubs or coffee houses, but on a theatre stage ....
"What this master storyteller gives his audience ... goes well beyond entertainment."
Winnipeg Free Press
"Powerfully eloquent ... spellbinding"
"Brilliant… inspirational… sheer magic."
"Harrowing and hilarious."
"This show is a powerhouse."
"A wickedly engaging ... hard-hitting ... matchless raconteur"
"[He] interweaves characters, locations and leaps in time seamlessly... Stellar storytelling."
"One of the funniest, most poignant and inspiring performances
"The scenes which reach out and grab your heart are too numerous to mention....
He creates an intimacy with his audience ... delightful, sad, and truly human."
"complex characters who stay with you long after the show is over." The Georgia Straight
"He leads his audience so easily from one emotional plane to another…"
"devastating yet hilarious ... blissful ... a phenomenal experience."
Winnipeg Free Press
"Tremendously well crafted"
"Just when you think you'll self-destruct at the thought of another mawkish exercise in nostalgia, a performer comes along to remind us that art doesn't carry a best-before date. ... His attention to detail is dazzling."
"Beautiful" Orlando Sentinel
"Irresistible... A very powerful story that speaks from the heart... I recommend it highly."
"Soulful and engrossing"
"If you haven’t already, you’re going to hear a lot about this."
Randy Rutherford's Singing at the Edge of the World set my own heart singing! This is the story of one man's journey into hearing loss, authentic in its depiction of solitude and despair, yet soaring to the heights of soulfulness and hope... interspersed with moments of utter hilarity! It is a powerful and brilliant depiction not just of hearing loss, but of the human condition. Randy reaches out and touches your heart and soul.
Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA)
Randy "ruled" his audience for 75 minutes. He's funny, moving and very entertaining - an extremely engaging storyteller and musician. There were many excellent presentations at the conference, but long after facts and figures have fled their brains, Randy's audience will recall and repeat his wonderfully-delivered story. He would be an asset to any meeting.
Richard H. Meyer
Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)
I loved Randy Rutherford’s show. It captures the grieving process over hearing loss in a very artistic way. He weaves a powerful, real-life tale of self-confidence, ambition, and strong interpersonal relationship-building prior to deafness and then takes us along with him on the path toward isolation, depression, loneliness, and self-destruction after losing his hearing. But in the end, he returns us to empowerment — all this accomplished with sufficient visual effects, music, and creativity that we are mesmerized throughout our journey. Those of us with acquired deafness can surely relate to this excursion. Truly inspirational!
Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA).
Member, National Council on Disability
Singing At The Edge Of The World is one of the most memorable journeys into the human spirit that one can take. I felt a connection and understanding that I have never felt before during a live performance. Anyone who attends this intimate insight into the joys, the disappointments, the heartbreak, the humour and the strength of faith and renewal will come away from the experience a different person.
Manager, Workforce Diversity - Scotiabank.
Co-chair, FICCDAT international conferences on Caregiving, Disability, Aging and Technology.
Lecturer, Ryerson University
Randy Rutherford's play is a joy, moving the audience often between laughter and tears. [...] a unique journey that resists all stereotypes. I came to experience deafness in many new ways. He casts new light on both loss and rebuilding in a multi-layered narrative that is an absolute pleasure to witness. Rutherford is a storyteller we need right now.
Tanya Titchkosky, Ph.D
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education,
University of Toronto
Phenomenal ... Exactly what we need for our conference.
Miguel Aguayo, M.S.W., R.S.W.
Author, Deafened People: Adjustment and Support
Former Chair, Ontario Chapter of Canadian Hard of Hearing Association
This singer-storyteller extraordinaire delighted the conference crowd with a truly wonderful performance. ... He made us laugh and cry, in equal measure, wanting more when he took his final bow.
Marcia Raggio, Ph.D.
President, California Academy of Audiology
I was deeply affected. I have known many people with chronic health problems or disabilities - what is extraordinary about this performance is his ability to reach down and communicate the depth of what it was like for him to lose his hearing, to infuse that with deeply felt humour and pain, and to move through to his ultimately successful struggle to build a new productive life.
This is one of those rare theatrical events that has the ability to transform people, and I recommend it highly.
• President, BC Coalition of People with Disabilities
• Former Executive Director, Self-Help Handicapped Society
My wife has a cochlear implant, but despite both of us having some hearing loss, we could hear him very well.
"Singing At the Edge of the World" is a remarkably moving, insightful exploration and presentation of the devastating effects of hearing loss. It was much more however, by showing how we still have "life after deaf". At no time did he lapse into sentimentality - he was completely honest with the audience and himself, openly acknowledging his own fear, anger, and isolation, as well as his successful efforts to deal with them. His own humour and that in his other characters (what a bunch!) enabled an ease of tension - the timbre of his voice and the guitar were beautiful. Thank you Randy.
Frank Martin, M.S.W.
Director, Social Planning Council Ottawa (Ret.)
Randy is truly an inspiration to us all.
T. Alan Hurwitz, Ed.D.
President, National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Vice President and Dean,
Rochester Institute of Technology
His shows which don't mention hearing loss are also big hits in deaf and hard of hearing communities.
re Weaverville Waltz:
Randy draws the audience in, evoking the fear, challenges, disappointments, triumphs, loneliness and love inherent in each situation. His stories are inspiring, hilarious, and moving. His performance was particularly inspirational for those of us who share hearing loss. ...
Betty Anderson, CHHA Winnipeg (2009)
re Dance Pants:
... Randy brings to the stage the quirks and twists of being a single man with a hearing loss experiencing a woman who seems way out of his league. Randy’s description of the events that follow is not only hilarious but also touching. I guarantee you will be transported into a world of delightful amusement. Captioning and interpreting services was made possible by the Community Grants Program. Later, Randy shared his experience of profound hearing loss. We loved his discussion, and we would love to have him back as a role model for our youth.
Saskatchewan Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
Questions? Email randytales earthlink.net