Press Release
The Deafhood Foundation

Contact: Kathy Say, Marketing Chair
Deafhood Foundation Press Release


The Deafhood Foundation held its first showing of The Deafhood Monologues which drew over 900 people over the weekend of December 3-4, 2010 at California School for the Deaf Theater in Fremont. The impressive cast and crew worked for weeks to prepare for the performance, and audience has reacted positively.

The performances raised over $12,000 for The Deafhood Foundation.

Sheri Farinha, Director of NorCal immediately tweeted on Twitter after the Friday’s night performance, “Theatrical, Powerful, Inspiring! KUDOS to All!”

Producer and founding member of the Deafhood Foundation Patrick Boudreault e-mailed his cast and crew, “This was a fabulous weekend for everyone, including for those who enjoyed our performances. You did great and I am very grateful to
work with a such extraordinary team […] for future generations of our Deaf and hearing ASL users, Hearing Allies. I believe that our production has reached a level of professionalism unattained by a community performance and it is because
of your commitment since the beginning.”

The Deafhood Monologues is an episodic play of Deaf experiences, chronicles and reflections delivered through poetry, stories, and presentations in American Sign Language. The performance was inspired by “The Vagina Monologues” and
“Understanding Deaf Culture: in search of Deafhood,” by Dr. Paddy Ladd.

Ella Mae Lentz who authored the Deafhood Monologues and Organizing co-Chair of the Foundation, said, “This production has been an amazing and inspiring example of beautiful collaboration on all levels and all sides. It all started with the few of us meeting and sharing ideas, leads and stories back in 2005 and revised over the time in the ensuing productions that helped make the script stronger and clearer. The recent production was a result of those several years and productions and the wonderful cast and crew, director and producer, bringing in all their talents, commitment and love. The result was simply awesome!” Ella Mae Lentz is also a founding member of the Deafhood Foundation.

Cast member Kristen Weiner, owner of Deafhood Yoga also tweeted, “Immense inner journey with The Deafhood Monologues play, cast, crew & community this weekend.Thank you all [with] love & compassion.”

Dr. Paddy Ladd, author of “Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood”, said, “We think of history of something that has happened in the past. But history is also what we choose to do in the present time, that influences the future — we ‘make history’.”

Ladd continued, “And that’s what we’re doing on this Deafhood journey of exploring our past and our present, working to understand ourselves and each other and the world around us — and how each has affected the other — so that we can build a better future for Sign Language Peoples everywhere.”

The Deafhood Monolgoues was produced by founding member of the Deafhood Foundation board, Patrick Boudreault and directed by renowned JAC. The cast members are: Natalee Franck, Melinda Harrison, Shira Grabelski, Jon A. Kastrup,
Don Lee Hanaumi, Melvin Patterson, Alyce S. Reynolds, David O. Reynolds, and Kristen Weiner.

A total of 12 sponsors lined up to support The Deafhood Monologues, and they are: California School for the Deaf, Convo, Purple, Sorenson, Alternative Solutions Center, Sweetwater Media, ASL Films, ASL Presents, DeafNexus, Deafhood Yoga and University of San Francisco.

“Our sponsors truly embraced the idea that our community’s journey to Deafhood is an essential step towards realizing true freedom from oppression and audism, and the Deafhood Foundation thanks each one of them for their amazing support,”
said Butch Zein, Organizing Chair of the Foundation.

Butch also added, “Not only that, we had a great number of people attending Encore gathering both evenings and they got to meet the cast, crew and board members of the Foundation. It was a wonderful time together. Their extra dollars
made it possible for the Deafhood Foundation to raise even more money. Thank you to all who went!”

Over ten cities across the country has expressed interest in staging The Deafhood Monologues in their city, and the Foundation is now studying the best possible way to bring this to as many people as possible.

In 2010, the Deafhood Foundation has raised over $30,000, bringing us closer to the $50,000 mark when the Foundation will issue its first Deaf-centered grant ever in areas of activism, arts, education, media and research.

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