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WHO WAS SAM EDWARDS?

-A message from Artistic Director, JW Guido

Sam Edwards New Play Reading Series (February 2016):

I NEVER SLEPT WITH HELEN KELLER

Written By: Raymond Luczak

A Deaf sculptor is startled when her statue, which was commissioned to honor Helen Keller’s life, suddenly awakens after being worked on for months. Furious that she might lose her contract, the sculptor tries to appease the statue—-signing?!?—-to resume her pose so she could finish up her job. Instead the artist and her statue wrestle with the bigger questions of what it means to be a Deaf artist in a hearing world, a DeafBlind person in a Deaf sighted world, and a female artist in a male-dominated art community as well as whether the icon of Helen Keller is still relevant today.

WHO'S WHO

Raymond Luczak (Playwright) is the playwright of 20 plays, including Love in My Veins and Pete Linden, Etc. His comedy Snooty won first place in NYDT's Sam Edwards Deaf Playwrights Competition, so with I Never Slept with Helen Keller, he's very delighted to have yet another connection with Sam Edwards. He is also the author and editor of 18 books. His latest books are QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology and The Kiss of Walt Whitman Still on My Lips. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and can be found online at raymondluczak.com.

Alexandria Wailes (Director) Broadway: BIG RIVER, SPRING AWAKENING; Regional: MOTHER COURAGE, A KIND OF ALASKA, GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES, FETES DE LA NUIT, SLEEPING BEAUTY WAKES; TV/Film: L&O:CI, NURSE JACKIE; THE HYPERGLOT; Webseries: HIGH MAINTENANCE, DON’T SHOOT THE MESSENGER; Other: Resident member- Heidi Latsky Dance Company. @ajkwailes

Opal Gordon (Statue) This is Opal’s second play with NYDT. In 2010, she was in NYDT’s Save the Humans directed by Samuel Caraballo. March 5, 2016, Opal received an Honoree House of Justice, Deaf Humanitarial Award and is involved with Deaf Protest for Deaf Rights Justice. She performs telling stories, comedy, choreography, and master of ceremonies at Harlem’s Sign Language Night. She is really excited to play with her partner, Annie Tomasetti, and thanks Director Alexandria Wailes, for casting her in this play. She is a Breast Cancer Survivor and will never give up her love of theatre. I thank all of my hearing and deaf friends who support me in everything and keep my spirit alive. Peace, Love, Soul.

Anne Tomasetti (Tallesia) was last seen in NYDT's productions of Captive Audience and The 39 Steps.  She is a National Theatre of the Deaf alumn, has toured with Cleveland Signstage Theatre and with the Centerlight Theatre of Chicago.  In NYC, Anne is an ASL Interpreter Director and Advisor for Hands On's Broadway ASL interpreted shows and is a Certified Deaf Interpreter with the New York City Department of Education.

Kimberly Hale (Voice of Tallesia) previously worked on NYDT's productions of CAPTIVE AUDIENCE as Voice Director and THE STRANGE CASE OF DR JEKYLL & MR HYDE as Assistant Director. She is a Teaching Artist with TADA! Youth Theatre, and studied Performing Arts at Iowa State University. She currently serves as the Development Director for NYDT, and is proud to represent this great company.

Pamela Sabaugh (Voice of Statue) most recently appeared in The Granduncle Quadrilogy: Tales From the Land of Ice. Other credits include: Downsizing Camus, Immaculate Degeneration, Armory Sound, Molly Sweeney, Dying City, Chicago, Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, The voice of the Prairie; Goldberg P.I., One Angry Man, Stuck in the In Between, One Life To Live, Guiding Light, and What Would You Do?. Sabaugh is also a long-time Actor/Artistic Associate with Theater Breaking Through Barriers.  Productions include: The Unexpected Guest, Power Plays, According to Goldman, The Cocktail Hour, The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, and Seneca’s Oedipus. Directing credits: Waiting For Godot. Pamela is thrilled to be working for the first time with New York Deaf Theatre.

Mara Stephens (Assistant Director) has been a professional actor for over twenty years acting on and off Broadway, regionally, internationally and a bit on screen. She found the Deaf community through theater and it changed her life forever. Mara works as an interpreter and now gets involved in acting related work when her busy schedule allows. She spends most of her time with her two children. 

Lauren Vaicels (Stage Manager) Lauren is a freelance interpreter and stage manager, among several other professional roles. This is Lauren's 6th consecutive year working with New York Deaf Theater. Usually she is either running the lighting board or running around backstage but is very excited to be stage managing this time around. Lauren has worked on and off stage in various theaters throughout Queens, Long Island and Manhattan since she was 8 years old. Some credits: Local: Captive Audience (NYDT),  Jekyl and Hyde (NYDT), Les Miserable (Lovely Lady, JABEN USA), Off-Broadway: Movements of the Soul (ASM,2011 & 2015), Fairytales of the Absurd (Untitled Theater Company #61, 2004).

John Lee Clark (DeafBlind Dramaturge)

 

Maricar Marquez (DeafBlind Consultant)

 

Emmanuel von Schack (Talk-back Moderator, Friday 8p and Saturday 4p)

 

John McGinty (Talk-back Moderator, Saturday 8p)