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A decade into the 21st century, traditional notions of theatre itself in America are being challenged and redefined. I sincerely empathize with the emotional attachment to Deaf theatre as a natural and logical extension of Deaf culture and community, but the reality is that Deaf theatre in America is dying a slow death. I don’t literally mean Deaf theatre itself is dying, but the 20th century idea of Deaf theatre is, for no small number of reasons at play here. I will ensure that our theatre department continues to preserve Deaf theatre traditions as long as we remain part of the academic and cultural fabrics at Gallaudet, the only liberal arts university for Deaf and hard of hearing people, but there needs to be a fearlessness and willingness to experiment with, and improve upon, the same traditions originating in the previous century so 21st century American Deaf theatre can evolve as an idea in its own right. It is incumbent upon our theatre department, and Gallaudet University, to cultivate the next generation of Deaf theatre artists, creative thinkers, and their allies in order to bring this about, to transform this idea into an institution.
Notable Alumni Include: Sandra Frank, Amelia Hensley, Russell Harvard, Joshua Castille