Northridge, California, 91326 United States

Mission Statement

Deaf West Theatre was founded in 1991 to enrich the lives of the 2 million deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the Southern California area and bridge the gap between deaf and hearing worlds. Deaf West Theatre has enjoyed a successful 24 year history, garnering dozens of industry awards and accolades for its Mainstream Productions. From intimate 99-seat theaters to our upcoming production on Broadway (Sept. 2015), Deaf West Theatre's productions are presented in American Sign Language with simultaneous voice translation, filling the void of cultural experiences for deaf and hard of hearing individuals, and an enhanced theatrical adventure for all audiences. Deaf West also conducts educational outreach workshops in schools for underprivileged and culturally under-served deaf youth (K-12) and provides training and gainful employment for deaf and hard of hearing artists.

About This Cause

Deaf West Theatre is a deaf-run organization, currently lead by Artistic Director, David Kurs, having taken the reigns from founding Artistic Director, Ed Waterstreet approximately 3 years ago.

Deaf West Theatre has a Managing Director, a CPA and Bookkeeper, all of whom have been with the company almost since it's inception.

An actively involved supervisory 12-member Board of Directors meets bi-monthly. An Advisory Board has recently added several new members, capable of providing expertise in relevant fields. Various committees of the Board cover other areas of need (including an Executive/Finance Commitee, Fundraising, Special Events Committee).

Deaf West Theatre's Mainstage Productions...
consist of adaptations and original works. Experienced and professional deaf, hard of hearing and hearing actors, directors, designers and technicians comprise casts, artistic teams and crews. Sets, lighting and costume designs exhibit a high standard of excellence, as the visual element of Sign Language Theater demands utmost attention to visual aesthetic values. Equal attention is paid to auditory values for our hearing audiences, and we also provide captioning for certain performances for those who are hard of hearing or deaf, but who do not understand sign language (for example, late deafened adults and seniors, and younger deaf people raised in oral / non-signing school programs).

Long-term Main Stage Productions Program Goal: Currently producing one or two productions per year, DWT's goal is establish a full 3-5 production season in order to meet the expressed needs and wishes of its artists and audiences (both deaf and hearing). The company strives to continue its history of multi-award winning productions and to continually improve and expand its outreach in the community as well as maintaining its standing in the mainstream theater community of Los Angeles and beyond.

Examples of Mainstage Production Success:
Deaf West's production of "Big River" moved from its 99-seat space in N. Hollywood, to the Mark Taper Forum downtown Los Angeles, to a Tony Award nominated production at the Roundabout in NY, a national tour and a command performance for the Princess of Japan. Our production of "Spring Awakening" premiered in likewise in the 99-seat Inner City Arts theater in Los Angeles, moved to the larger Wallis Annenberg Performing Arts Center in Beverly Hills, and our first commercial Broadway run is slated to premiere Sept. 27, 2015. The NY run will be followed by a national tour and international collaborations.

Children's Theater; Educational Outreach (K-12):
With initial funding provided by the U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, founded in 1993, Deaf West's Children's Theater Educational Outreach program has included 1) Four 12-week workshops per year in So. California schools, culminating performances for peers, faculty and families. 2) A Children's Theatre / family friendly Deaf West production where school groups are brought to the theater with Q&A after the shows 3) Saturday morning story telling for deaf children and their families at venues throughout the county of Los Angeles. We have funding this year (2015-2016) for two of the 4 12-week workshops (K-12) and our long-term goal is to re-establish this program in full. This is an outreach service paid for by grants, with no cost to the schools.

Professional Training Program; Summer School
Deaf West Theatre ran a summer program for several years, engaging both deaf and hearing professionals teaching an array of entertainment industry classes, preparing our community of artists to attain gainful employment beyond Deaf West Theatre. We are humbly grateful that there are dozens of success stories, as many of our alumni have gotten work in other stage productions, as well as more lucrative work in film and television. Our goal in this regard to is re-establish this 4-week summer program.

Current Need:
Unrestricted Operating Support to pay current and additional part time and full time staff to ensure institutional strength and stability in order to continue the work we do.

10563 Amberwood Lane
Northridge, California 91326
United States
Phone 818 762-2998
Twitter @deafwest
Unique Identifier 954315054