One of the founders in the 1960’s of the National Theater of the Deaf (NTD), a deaf actor, director, playwright and lecturer, Bernard Bragg is internationally recognized as a leader in the deaf entertainment industry. In 1956 in Paris, he studied with Marcel Marceau, universally acclaimed as the world’s greatest mime. Upon returning to the United States, Bragg performed traditional/improvisational mime in San Francisco’s nightclubs.
In 1958, Life magazine commended him as one of the best small nightclub performers in America. He acted in his own weekly TV show called The Quiet Man as well as in CBS’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales and the television movie And Your Name is Jonah. He also performed throughout Europe, appearing both on television and on stage and served as artist-in-residence in Moscow, New York, and Washington D.C. He wrote and directed To Whom It May Concern in Germany and A Journey into Wonders of Visual World in Hong Kong. In 1979 he wrote and directed That Makes Two of Us, a romantic comedy and co-authored Tales from a Clubroom, and in 1989 his book, Lessons in Laughter: The Autobiography of a Deaf Actor, was published. In September 2001, Dr. Bragg received a Special Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Federation of the Deaf at their 50th Anniversary Conference held in Rome, Italy. T
his prestigious award honored Dr. Bragg for “his years of commitment, dedication, and leadership in the Deaf theatre world, and his encouragement to Deaf actors everywhere.” Currently, Bragg is involved in his twelve-city tour with his new one-man show called “Theatre in the Sky” helping raise funds for the NAD and WFD.
Phyllis Frelich is best known as the 1980 Tony Award winner for her portrayal of Sarah in Mark Medoff’s CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD, and for her Emmy-nominated role as Janice in the 1985 Hallmark Hall of Fame film, LOVE IS NEVER SILENT. She performed opposite Richard Dreyfuss in Mr. Medoff’s THE HANDS OF ITS ENEMY at the Mark Taper Forum and created the role of Frances in Beth Henley s THE DEBUTANTE BALL at the South Coast Repertory Theatre. She appeared as Fonsia Dorsey in Deaf West Theatre 's premiere production of THE GIN GAME and directed and appeared as a female Weller Martin in their ten year anniversary production of the same play. She was a female Dr. Dysart in Deaf West s production of EQUUS and a male Scrooge in their production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Her one character play about a barnstorming pilot entitled LOLLY FOSTER S DAREDEVIL AIRSHOW premiered at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Her hilarious turn as Dr. Joyce Ginsberg in Andrew Shea 's film SANTE FE was seen at the Sundance Festival. She directed Deaf West 's production of BRILLIANT TRACES and was seen in the title role of their production of THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA as well as Ms. Watson in BIG RIVER. She had the pleasure of playing Eloisa Scrooge in Mr. Medoff s adaptation of the Dickens classic entitled A CHRISTMAS CAROUSEL at The University of Oklahoma and her latest role was that of Esther in Mr. Medoff 's PRYMATE at The Longacre Theatre on Broadway.
Ms. Frelich is proud to have been one of the founding members of The National Theatre of the Deaf with whom she performed on Broadway, throughout the United States and a good part of the rest of the world, in such roles as Polly Garter in SONGS FROM MILK WOOD and Marie in WOYZECK.
Television audiences will also remember her as guest star on SUE THOMAS - FBI, ER, PACIFIC BLUE, DIAGNOSIS MURDER, LA LAW, HUNTER, SPENSER: FOR HIRE, GIMME A BREAK, BARNEY MILLER, SANTA BARBARA, the CBS film BRIDGE TO SILENCE and others.
Phyllis is equally at home in the classroom whether the students are deaf or hearing and has designed and conducted a multitude of workshops and acting classes for the likes of The National Theatre of the Deaf, The University of Rhode Island, New Mexico State University and Deaf West Theatre. She has an extensive resume of appearances as a guest lecturer and keynote speaker at various educational institutions, civic and service organizations and corporate conferences.
Phyllis is proud to have been recognized by her home state of North Dakota with their Rough Rider Award in celebration of which her portrait hangs in the capital building in Bismarck, N.D.. She is also the recipient of an Ovation Award, The Outer Circle Award, several LA Dramalogue Awards and Gallaudet University's Humanitarian Award and Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree.
A native of Washington, DC, is an award winning actress, writer, director, and producer. Her recent acting credits include her appearances on YAHOO commercial, the ABC’s 10-8, the Showtime Series SOUL FOOD, GIRLFRIENDS (UPN), Lifetime’s STRONG MEDICINE, and COMPENSATION. Her most recent theatrical appearance includes BIG RIVER at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, CA and at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC. As a Christopher Reeve Acting Scholarship awardee, Ms. Banks has performed her one-woman show, REFLECTIONS OF A BLACK DEAF WOMAN in Los Angeles and Burbank, CA. as well as throughout the United States. Http://www.michellebanks.com
CJ is known primarily as CEO, producer, director, writer, actor, comedian, and motivational speaker. He has traveled with the National Theatre of the Deaf and toured with “Children of a Lesser God” on Broadway. He has also appeared on NBC’s “Frasier,” ABC Family’s “Lincoln Heights,” the PBS television shows “Sesame Street” and “Rainbow’s End,” and was the host of “Happy Hands Kids Klub.” His latest job was a “voice over” for a Deaf Indian (played by a hearing actor) in a movie called “PathFinder” from 20th Century Fox.
In addition, CJ can rightly add educator and advocate to his credits. He is the Board President of Hands Across Communications (www.handsacrosscommunications.com). He started "International Sign Language Theater Festival 2007" for international deaf artists to share their talents and receive recognition for their artistic work. The goal is to make their dream come true through performances on stage.
He founded Sign World TV in 2001 to help broaden the opportunities for Deaf people in entertainment. He completed two documentary film projects: “The Other Side - South Africa” and “The Other Side - Japan.” His new DVD, “What Are You…Deaf?” is on sale at: www.cjjoneslive.com
When not pursuing these goals, he takes his one-man show (www.cjjoneslive.com) and "What Are You...Deaf?" production on the road! For more than 35 years, CJ has shared his talents with Deaf and hearing schools, events, and universities across the country and around the world. Having appeared on Broadway stage, in television, video, and on the big screen, he has experienced what he calls the “double whammy” of being an actor who is both deaf and black. CJ vigorously spreads the message to students and adults alike, that being different does not mean being less worthwhile.
Shoshannah Stern was born in Walnut Creek, California. Along with her brother and sister, she represents the fourth generation of a deaf family. She grew up in Fremont, CA, where she attended the California School for the Deaf, Fremont, where both her parents worked and her two siblings attended. Upon graduation, her family relocated to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Shoshannah attended Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, the only Liberal Arts University for deaf people in the world. There she pursued her love of theater, winning numerous awards for her performances, and continued to dream — as she had since she was a child — of becoming a professional actor.
During the winter recess of her senior year at Gallaudet, she received a random email from Warner Bros. asking her to audition for a guest-starring role on the series Off Centre. On a whim, she flew to Los Angeles, auditioned and subsequently got the role. This led to guest-starring roles on such television series as Providence, Boston Public, ER, The Division and a cameo as Matthew Broderick’s girlfriend in the feature film, The Last Shot. While playing a rape victim on The Division opposite Marlee Matlin, she impressed the director so much he decided to create a role for her on his new show, Threat Matrix. After Threat Matrix ended, she landed a recurring role on Weeds, the Golden Globe winning comedy, playing the girlfriend to the son of Mary-Louise Parker for two seasons.
She also originated the role of Susan in Open Window at the Pasadena Playhouse to stellar reviews. On Shoshannah’s first day of auditioning for non-deaf roles, she landed the role of Bonnie Richmond on the much-buzzed about new pilot for CBS, Jericho. Now that Jericho has been officially picked up, she has become the only deaf actor in history to have roles on two prime-time television shows at the same time. Most recently, she landed her first lead role in a film, Adventures of Power, opposite Adrian Grenier, Jane Lynch, and Michael McKean.
Michael Davis is an avid educator in incorporating deaf etiquette in the workplace. Aside from Mr. Davis’s professional career, He is an Actor and a Dancer, which enables him to travel all over the world doing theaters, films, choreographing, storytelling, workshops and a one-man show. Michael is currently doing his one man show “Janitor” all over the nation, and is with the all male dance troupe- The Wild Zappers. Michael has a great passion to make a difference and touch people’s lives since he is the rare entertainer as a Deaf, Hispanic and a Male". Be sure to check his upcoming website. http://www.latinomichaeldavis.com
Transgenerational best describes Linda Bove. A series regular for thirty years on television’s Sesame Street, Today, Bove is recognized by children as well as their parents who grew up watching her. Beginning her illustrious career as a member of the prestigious National Theatre of the Deaf (NTD), Bove broke new ground when she was the first deaf actress to be cast in a recurring role on the daytime dramal, Search for Tomorrow.
For the first time, television viewers had the opportunity to see a deaf actress signing and interacting with hearing cast members. America was mesmerized, and very much in love with this fiery and dynamic woman. Bove didn’t stop there. After her work on Search for Tomorrow and performing with NTD, she went on to guest star on Happy Days, playing 'the Fonz’s' love interest who later rejected him for another man. Other television and film credits include Omnibus with Meryl Streep, A child’s Christmas in Wales with Sir Michael Redgrave, The Silken Tent with Jason Robards.
Her film credits Follow That Bird! featuring the cast of Sesame Street, and the Tony Award winning, Children of a Lesser God, which she also performed on Broadway with John Rubinstein. She reprised the lead role of Sarah on the National Tour. Through her association with Random House, Bove authored two sign language books which featured the Muppets: Sign Language Fun and Sign Language ABC. With the enormous popularity of these books, Bove developed the home video, Sign Me a Story, which was also a Random House release.
The video featured Bove performing a series of fairy tales with her own unique twist. Goldilocks signed to the three bears and still got what she wanted. Little Red Riding Hood had some difficulty understanding the Big Bad Wolf, and for obvious reasons. Conceived, authored and performed by Bove, the video, which includes unique sign language adaptations of three classic fairy tales, won numerous awards; most notably, the Parents’ Choice Award and the Action Children’s Television Award. The video was an instant best seller when it first came out, and is still in high demand today. Sign Me a Story evolved into a live theater production and, after a month-long premiere at Deaf West Theatre in Los Angeles, toured throughout the United States. Presented in American Sign Language with simultaneous voice translation, the interactive play included sign language games, improvisation, as well as information and anecdotes about deaf culture and American Sign Language.
Anthony Natale (ASL Coach) has always enjoyed being in the creative process of teaching ASL. "Being the class clown I realize that I’d have become an actor whether I was deaf or hearing." Credits include Jerry Maguire, Mr. Holland’s Opus. Leads in “His Bodyguard,” “Two Shades of Blue.” TV: Once and Again, Ellen, Any Day Now, Pacific Blues, and Rude Awakenings. Theater: Godspell, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, and Oliver. A Host in "How to Talk to a Person Who Can’t Hear" an ASL video. When asked "What makes you smile inside when you are acting?” His response: “Imagining each and every one of you naked." His new movie starring lead will release this year “Universal Signs.”
Deanne Bray has started her acting career with DeafWest Theatre when she was 19 years old and continued on many productions for 15 years. You may have seen her in Equus, The House of Bernarda Alba, Big River, and Sleeping Beauty Wakes. Deanne has done educational and independent films such as The American Disability Act, Not Me, Not Now, The Last Mountain, Universal Signs. She has done episodic television shows, Ellen, CSI: Las Vegas, Pretender, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and The L Word. Deanne starred in her own television show, Sue Thomas: Fbeye for 3 seasons. She is currently co producing and co hosting an educational DVD series along with her husband, Troy, about the 3 trimesters of pregnancy signed all in ASL associated with Signsforintelligence Production.
Evon Black was born and raised in a small town – Blytheville, Arkansas. She has 4 brothers and a sister. She is the youngest and the only deaf sibling in her family. She has been deaf almost all of her life. She graduated from Arkansas school for the Deaf in 1981. She went to Gallaudet University, got her BS degree in Psychology in 1987, and got her Master Degree in 1996 in Educational Technology.
Evon has worked primarily in the Deaf student development area for approximately 22 years ranging from Deaf residential schools to Gallaudet University. Prior to Sprint as Alabama Relay Account Manager, she was the Senior Admissions Counselor and handled 21 states for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. For more than 20 years, she has been a performer and motivational speaker nationally. Evon have been an active member in several of civic organizations, holding various positions with the National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA) for 19 years. She currently resides in Birmingham Alabama with her precious 11 years old son, known as "DJ".
To name a few beside her one woman show, she was an actress for the touring group "I did not hear that color" written by Bob Daniels; she performed for the University of MD, in a unique Play called "Fidgety Phil".
All the participants of NEDOSLOV theatre are professional dramatic actors / dancers who finished the State Specialized Art Institute (SSAI) in Moscow, Russia. The SSAI is a unique Institute in Russia preparing professional deaf actors / dancers. Currently there are 16 actors at Nedoslov. The project was organized and implemented by 3 stage producers.
Performances of NEDOSLOV are aimed at any public independent of their hearing ability, nationality and social status. Things that we want to say do not have any language barriers. Actors and dancers make the performance interesting to the audience by means of plasticity and gestures clear to everyone.
Dressed in identical black trench coats, five expressionless actors dart randomly across the stage. Gripped with fear they find security in their sameness. So begins Mosaic, an exploration of societal pressure to conform and the individual's need for freedom. The stark beauty of actors on an empty stage and the vibrant series of vignettes resonate across languages and cultures. Performed by Quest's international touring company and incorporating mime, movement, gesture, dance, and sign language, Mosaic will touch your soul. Mosaic has received raved responses from audiences in Austria, China, Australia, and Quest’s international visual theatre festival QuestFest.
About Quest – WITH MOSAIC
I was moved by movement! Motion produced emotion! Quest is internationally recognized for its innovative work in visual theatre and its leadership in welcoming people from diverse backgrounds. Performances have been called amazing, maddening, thought-provoking, and visually-rich. Creating and producing new works for the stage that represent a strong visual and cultural base, Quest touring companies and affiliate artists maintain an active performance and training calendar both in the United States and world-wide.
Terrylene is a nationally renowned stage, film and television actress and one of the deaf community's most popular stars. She has received numerous honors for her acting, creative writing, and advocacy work, and was recently met with overwhelming applause for her critically acclaimed one-woman nationwide tour, In The Now." She is from four generations of a deaf family. Terrylene can currently be seen starring in a Sundance selection , Miramax release, AfterImage. Look for her in a new release feature film, The Upper Room, late 2008 (www.UpperRoomMovie.com
) Terrylene is pleased to be at International Sign Language Theatre Festival to launch her new show for the nationwide tour, The Peddler's Daughter.