ABOUT

Committed to innovation, collaboration, training, and activism, Deaf West is the artistic bridge between the Deaf and hearing worlds. Founded in Los Angeles in 1991, Deaf West engages artists and audiences in unparalleled theater and media experiences inspired by Deaf culture and the expressive power of sign language, weaving ASL with spoken English to create a seamless ballet of movement and voice.

LEADERSHIP

DJ Kurs became the Artistic Director of Deaf West Theatre in 2012.

 

He has produced several award winning plays and musicals, including Spring Awakening, which he shepherded from its beginnings as an intimate 99-seat theater production in Los Angeles before it went on to Broadway, earning multiple Tony Award nominations.

 

Kurs sees his role at Deaf West as integral to his continued advocacy and activism within the Deaf community. To that end, he is an in-demand public speaker and panelist: he has given talks at the Berkeley Forum and special events such as the 50th Anniversary of the National Endowment of the Arts. 

 
BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Ed Waterstreet

President

Beverly Nero

Secretary

Christopher Sepulveda

Ann Wareham

Mark Freund

Vice President

Matt Randall

Treasurer

Patricia Shawn

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WHY DEAF WEST?

 
QUALITY

We are known for our uncompromising quality and unmatched track record. On Broadway and beyond, we are at the forefront of Deaf-centered storytelling.

COMMUNITY

We are the rare intersection where Deaf and hearing artists come together, creating a unique space where connection transcends language.

RECOGNITION

We are a multi award-winning organization and we always strive to pass this success onto the individual artists and collaborators that enrich our spaces.

ACCESS

We were built from the ground up more than thirty years ago with accessibility at the forefront.

ECONOMY

We create jobs and launch careers for Deaf performers, creatives, and administrators. 

RESOURCES

We are rich with both Deaf and hearing talent, and bring the resources necessary to create collaborative climates leading to truly inclusive and innovative art.

INDUSTRY CHANGE

We're committed to radical change and creating equity for all in the entertainment industry and beyond.

RACIAL EQUITY

 

Deaf West stands firmly against white supremacy and the grip that it has on the American theatre industry. We are deeply committed to building systemic racial equity within our organization, industry, and community at large. Because of our unique position as a Deaf-led company, access and inclusion are one of the primary pillars of our equity efforts.

 

We recognize that racism and audism go hand-in-hand, and that the active pursuit of racial justice benefits everyone through the deliberate examination of systems of oppression — systems that disenfranchise people across a wide spectrum of different demographics, circumstances, and experiences. 

 

This statement is just a beginning. It is the standard by which we will move in our community, and it will lead to swift and actionable change. In this effort, we will prioritize more robust leadership, more intentional policymaking, and more equitable access in our community engagement. 

 

We are not perfect. We never will be. But through this commitment to the relentless pursuit of empathy, and of growing our understanding of these systems and how they are unintentionally upheld within our own organization, we are making a promise to do better. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback about our efforts, please feel free to contact us at info@deafwest.org

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AWARD

HIGHLIGHTS

 
TONY AWARDS

Honor for Excellence – Deaf West Theatre  • •

Best Revival of a Musical – Spring Awakening  •

Best Revival of a Musical – Big River  •

Best Direction of a Musical – Spring Awakening  •

Featured Actor in a Musical – Big River  •

OVATION AWARDS

Best Musical in Large Theatre – Spring Awakening  • •

Best World Premiere Musical – Sleeping Beauty Wakes  • •

Best Production – Big River  • •

Best Production of a Play – The Solid Life of Sugar Water  •

Director of a Musical – Spring Awakening  • •

Director of a Musical– Big River  • •

Choreography – Spring Awakening  •

Choreograph – Big River  • •

Lead Actor in a Musical – Spring Awakening  •

Lead Actress in a Musical – Spring Awakening  •

Nominated • 

Received  • •   

SPECIAL HONORS

The International Fete d’Excellence Gold Medal

for Cultural Education in Theatre

 

Highest Recognition Award by

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Distinguished Contributions and Achievements in Theatre

The Drama League


Extraordinary Excellence in Diversity on Broadway

Actors Equity Association


Sustained Excellence in Theatre

Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle


The Champions for Change Award

The Mayor of New York City


The Peter Zeisler Memorial Award

Theatre Communications Group