Larp House Presents: Sign

Nicaragua in the 1970s had no form of sign language. In 1977, something happened. Fifty deaf children from across the country were brought together to an experimental school in Managua. Without a shared language to express themselves, the children did the only thing they could — they created one. In Sign, we follow a small piece of their journey.

Sign is based on the true story of a language born in modern times from the hands of children.  In Sign, you’ll play as kids on their first day of school. Together you’ll make new language through play.


Sign, a live-action game about communication and being understood, for four to 35 players.

Designed by Kathryn Hymes & Hakan Seyalioglu

Organized by Katherine Shane

SIGN A Game About Being UnderstoodThis game of Sign will have simultaneous runs of one to five tables of four to seven players each, working together to create a new language. Play is entirely silent, without any spoken words or any use of currently existing sign languages. Instead players will use their creativity and their hands and bodies to communicate without words, build bonds of friendship, and create a new shared language.

This game will include a shared meal of traditional Nicaraguan food. (Meal will be vegetarian to ensure broad accessibility. Please indicate in the event sign up if you have any sensitivities or requirements.)


1 February 2020, 2 pm to 6 pm


ECMN Community Room at 1101 West Broadway, Minneapolis (Google Maps)

Metro Transit routes 5, 14, 30, and 32 stop nearby. Parking is available.


If you’d like to play, please fill out the Sign registration form so we have an accurate head count for tables and food. Seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, so don’t delay!

The cost for the game plus meal is a self-determined fee of $5 to $25 (sliding scale) that will be collected at the door.

Hard copies of Sign will be available for sale.

Special! For a flat fee of $60, you may reserve a table for a group of 4 to 7 players. This includes food as well as a single hard copy of Sign by Thorny Games!

Play style

photo illustration of ISN gestures for see and pay

The game takes place in a classroom of children ages 7 to 10 and a teacher, using pre-defined characters, minimal props, high levels of improv, and freeform play.  It is entirely silent.  There will be warm up exercises to get used to playing in silence, followed by three classes, three recesses, and a final class. There are no mechanics (dice, playing cards, etc.) and you do not need to know “the rules” or “how to LARP” to play this game. There will be a verbal debrief after the game to share your experience.


Public space is fully accessible, with a parking lot adjacent. Two gender-neutral restrooms on site.


No costuming required, but the characters are all children in the 1970s. Feel free to portray that as and how you wish.


Please contact us with any questions.

group of Nicaraguan schoolchildren in classroom


sign language: friend by r.a. olea, used under CC BY 2.0

Sign cover design copyright Thorny Games

see pay spacial by Ann Senghas, used under CC BY-SA 3.0

classroom photo by “lifesoapcompany”, used under CC BY 2.0

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