Deaf West Theatre

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Deaf West Theatre Company is a North Hollywood, California based cultural institution serving as a model for deaf theater worldwide. Deaf West Theatre Inc., was founded to directly improve and enrich the cultural lives of the 1.2 million deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals who live in the Los Angeles area. Noted for being the first professional resident Sign Language Theatre in the western half of the United States, Deaf West Theatre productions, actors and directors have won more than 80 theatre awards for artistic merit.

The theater was founded in 1991 by Ed Waterstreet [1], Linda Bove[2], Phyllis Frelich[3], and Bob Steinberg, as a way to bring theatre to the local deaf community.

Their first full-length play was “The Gin Game,” and starred Phyllis Frelich and Pat Graybill.

Today, DWT provides exposure and access to professional theatre, filling a void for deaf artists and audiences. It serves the cultural, educational, social and employment needs of its constituents and is an institution for the discovery and exploration of artists' identities and their stature as artists. Through the medium of Sign Language Theatre, a legacy of deaf culture is created, shared, and preserved.

Presenting adaptations of classics, contemporary and original works, DWT is dedicated to the production of theatre at its highest artistic quality, which nurtures and promotes the talents of its actors, writers, directors and designers. DWT productions are presented in American Sign Language with simultaneous translation in English, providing for all an enhanced theatrical experience.

Deaf West Theatre's most notable accomplishments are bringing a revival of Big River to the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway in 2003, as well as the Broadway production of Spring Awakening in 2015-16.


  1. ^ Ed Waterstreet
  2. ^ Linda Bove
  3. ^ Phyllis Frelich

[2] Ed Waterstreet

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