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Deaf West Theatre

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Title: Deaf West Theatre  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Troy Kotsur, Melissa van der Schyff, Daniel David Stewart, Ed Waterstreet, Sleeping Beauty Wakes
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Deaf West Theatre

Deaf West Theatre Company is a North Hollywood, California-based cultural institution serving as a model for deaf theatre worldwide. Founded in 1991, by Ed Waterstreet, it is 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.[1][2]

Under the artistic direction of its founder, Ed Waterstreet, the company’s art-deco complex in the NoHo Arts District of North Hollywood includes a 90-seat theatre, complete with a state-of-the-art sound system, sub-woofers under the raked seating, an infrared headphone system, and captioning capabilities. The theatre is within a ten-minute drive of many major film production studios including Disney, Warner Bros., Universal, NBC, and Columbia/Tri-Star.

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. DWT provides exposure and access to professional theatre, filling a void for deaf artists and audiences.

DWT serves the cultural, educational, social and employment needs of its constituents. DWT is an institution for the discovery and exploration of artists' identities and 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 of the 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 Spring Awakening in 2015.


  1. ^ ED WATERSTREET: James A. Doolittle Award for Leadership in the Theatre
  2. ^ "Theater; In This Musical, Some Sing, All Sign". New York Times. November 10, 2002. 

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