The National Theatre of the Deaf Board
Facilitator, Deaf Theatre Planning Action Session via Howlround at Emerson College, March 2019; Conspirator, Dog & Pony D.C.; Assistant Director, Shakespeare First Folio! Tour Stop at Gallaudet University 2015-16; Adjunct Professor, ASL/Deaf Studies/Translation, Gallaudet University, 2012-2014; Teaching Instructor (Adjunct Faculty), Deaf Studies Program, California State University, Northridge, 2006–2012; Outreach/Program Coordinator/Writer/Workshop Coordinator/ Associate Director, Deaf West Theatre, 2004-2011.
Dr. Joseph Santini currently works as the Director of Instruction at the Clerc Center in Washington DC. His career in education began in 2001 at the Centre for Deaf Studies in Bristol, UK, where he earned an MSc in Deaf Studies. He worked as an adult educator and case manager at the New York Society for the Deaf and then joined the City College of New York as a Teaching Fellow, earning an M.A. in Secondary Education in 2007. He has written or co-authored several print and online articles and books chapters in the area of education including the New York Times Online, and most recently a chapter in the 2019 book Deaf Identities: Exploring New Frontiers with Drs. Leala Holcomb, Thomas Horejes, and Oscar Ocuto. He has been involved in creating educational content in ASL including Camp Invention ASL, a modified version of the Camp Invention curriculum he worked on with Dr. Jill Bradbury of Gallaudet University, and hosted the First Folio! K-12 Educators Workshop in 2016. He completed his Ed.S. in Deaf Education in 2016, then worked at Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. to establish the first online Learning Management System with free full-length courses in ASL for Deaf and hard of hearing students.
April Jackson-Woodard, a Missouri native who now calls Maryland home, has been highly passionate in acting since age 3. Last 2012, April earned her B.A. in Business Administration and minored in Fine Arts-Theatre/Production at Gallaudet University. She worked as an actor and instructor for Quest Visual Theatre where she toured to Canada, China and Austria. April is a full-time federal government employee and freelance Deaf Interpreter in the Washington, DC area. April also launched two children storybooks, “The Baobab” in February 2013 and “The Blue Lobster” last September 2014 with Visual Language and Visual Learning at Gallaudet. April continues to be involved in a lot of storytelling, film, acting and as a motivational speaker. During her special moments, April loves exercise, travel, and to spend a lot of time with her two Deaf children, Akeisha and Keivonn.
Richard Costes is a Chicago-based actor, director, and accessibility consultant who currently works as a Board Administrator at Communication Services for the Deaf. He was one of 10 recipients of a 3Arts Award in 2019 and is also a 2020 ADA 25 Advancing Leadership Fellow. He has presented at Gallaudet University’s symposium on Visual Shakespeare and was a panelist and member of the 2019 Deaf Theatre Action Planning Session hosted by HowlRound at Emerson College. Richard is passionate about equity in art with an eye towards disability and intersectionality and often speaks on panels or gives presentations on how to create and curate more inclusive spaces. www.richardcostes.com
Hailing from the DC / MD / VA area, Acclaimed Hip Hop Recording Artist, WAWA, has been hitting the ground running with music with insatiable drive since he first picked up the mic in 2005 and began writing and rhyming at an unstoppable pace. With 15+ years in the game with no signs of slowing down at all, WAWA's critical reception and positive acclaim has manifested over the years through not only admirable work ethics, but also through a charismatic, diligent original persona and genre that he labels "Dip Hop" (Hip Hop through deaf eyes), a unique sound of audio & imagery. WAWA's Dip Hop explores Hip Hop in a way where the focus is taking on challenges and educating people about deaf musicians in the hearing world, a pursuit where he hopes to put deaf Recording Artists on the map in the mainstream public interest. In 2016, WAWA released his sophomore album "Deaf: So What?!" which further explores the pursuit of proving that a disadvantage can be its polar opposite; an album of inspiration for those to understand and pursue music without the sense of hearing.
Alexandria Wailes received a 2020 Obie for Sustained Excellence as an Artist and Advocate. She received a Lucille Lortel nomination for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play For Colored Girls.. at The Public. Her career involves Broadway, Off Broadway, TV and film as an actor, director, choreographer and DASL. She works mostly in NYC and LA and has performed internationally in Japan, Senegal, India, Romania and Sydney, Australia. Ms. Wailes advised ASL interpreted teams for Hands On and TDF on numerous Broadway shows. She also conducts ASL tours for The Jewish Museum, the Whitney & LES Tenement museum. www.alexandriawailes.com
Natasha Ofili debuted in two TV series in 2019: Netflix’s The Politician as Principal Vaugh and Amazon Prime’s Undone as a Deaf Teacher. In May 2020, inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests, Natasha co-wrote and produced a creative project Am I Next? to bring focus on the Black Deaf Community. Natasha debuted in a series, The Myth of Control, directed by Emmy nominated producer Mikail Chowdhury and Chrystee Pharris, as Aimee, all filmed remotely, a groundbreaking experience. Natasha continues to represent her community to inspire future Deaf and Hard of Hearing Black individuals and People of Color to break into the entertainment industry. For the remaining of 2020, Natasha’s mantra is to surround herself with greatness and with those who see the greatness within her.
Ryan Maliszewski joined Mozzeria, Inc. as its first Chief Executive Officer in Spring 2020, and is working to open Mozzeria’s second national location in DC this fall. Previously, Ryan was the Director of the Gallaudet Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute as well as an Executive Strategy and Technology Advisor for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Upon graduating from the University of Arizona, Ryan began his career working on Capitol Hill for a United States Senator as well as for the Chief Administrative Officer of the House for several years prior to joining Booz Allen Hamilton, a management and technology consulting firm largely responsible for managing billion dollar budgets and contracting services for U.S. Government clients.
Dr. Jill Marie Bradbury is Professor and Chair, Department of Performing Arts, National Technical Institute of Technology. She holds BA and MA degrees in Economics and English, and a PhD in English. She previously served as treasurer for the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Her research interests include Shakespeare in ASL and Deaf performance. She served as project director for the DC stop of First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare national traveling exhibition sponsored by the Folger Shakespeare Library (2016). Also in 2016, Dr. Bradbury received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to organize a DeafBlind theater institute. The project is featured in the documentary video “ProTactile Romeo and Juliet: Theater by/for the DeafBlind” (2018) and collaborative essay "ProTactile Shakespeare" published in Shakespeare Studies 47 (2019). Forthcoming scholarship includes articles on inclusive performance and on the integration of Deaf and hearing actors in recent U.S. Shakespeare productions.
Ethan Sinnott is a DC-area Deaf theatre artist, director, scene designer, and the head of Gallaudet University’s Theatre and Dance program. MFA, Boston University. He co-produced with five other Deaf artists, March 2019’s Deaf Theatre Action Planning Session, in partnership with Howlround. The convening was a gathering of over thirty Deaf theatremakers, producers, and administrators from across the United States, intended to develop a future-focused, action-oriented plan for creating a national network and training-to-production "pipelines" that foster the long-term education and advancement of all Deaf theatre artists. Currently, Ethan works to teach, direct, and produce theatre at Gallaudet, and professionally works as a scene designer at theatres throughout the Washington, DC area.