D.C.’s Deaf Jam events were definitely jammin’ at Busboys and Poets and the Washington DC Jewish Community Center with performances by Tim McCarty and Quest Visual Theatre, Connell Crooms aka Bam Bam, Fred Beam and more.
YouTube video from “Deaf Jam” screening featuring Quest Visual Theatre
The focus is the arts for the Community Cinema [DC] presentations of “Deaf Jam” (open captioned) 5 PM Saturday, October 22 at Busboys and Poets; and 3 PM Sunday, October 23 at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center. The Community Cinema events are FREE, open to the public, and will include ASL interpretation. For more information and to make reservations, go to this link.
October 22 – Busboys and Poets
Quest Visual Theatre
Founded in 1997 and based in Lanham, Maryland, Quest is a group of artists, educators, and dedicated volunteers representing a diverse ethnic, cultural, and artistic panorama who are committed to creating, producing, presenting, and supporting theatre that emanates from a visual base and features casts and production staffs that are inclusive. The company’s educational work focuses on the use of visual theatre to enhance literacy. Quest‘s 32 Affiliate Artists represent a variety of ethnicities, cultures, and art forms. The Catalogue for Philanthropy has recognized Quest as one of the region’s best small charities. The Maryland State Arts Council Theatre Panel review consistently ranks Quest as one of the state’s top 5 organizations. The GU Community Relations Council, government of the Czech Republic, and Moscow Institute for the Arts have presented Quest with awards honoring the company for its work as a model for inclusiveness and its commitment to the work of deaf artists from around the world. Over the last 10 years, no theatre company in the United States has produced the work of, presented, or contracted more deaf/hard of hearing artists than Quest.
Visit www.questvisualtheatre.org for more information. Quest Visual Theatre is also a community partner for the DC presentations of “Deaf Jam“.
October 23 at Washington DC Jewish Community Center
Connell Crooms aka Bam Bam
Connell Crooms was discovered to have become deaf at the age of 5 but his hearing deteriorated earlier than that, his hearing loss went unnoticed because he taught himself to read lips. Bam Bam started rapping at the tender age of 13 and has done several tracks mostly as a featured artist. He is regarded as one of the best deaf rappers within the deaf community, having done shows at ASL Poetry Night at Busboys and Poets, Def Nation concert, Real Men Real Pride, and even performed with world renowned Wild Zappers. He is currently working on a solo album, be on the lookout for that!
Fred is founder of the award-winning, non-profit organization known as Invisible Hands, Inc., which promotes Deaf culture awareness through art and entertainment (www.invisiblehands.com). Fred is a professional actor, dancer, choreographer, producer, and director currently living in Washington, DC.
In addition to performing with many dance companies and theaters, including Arena Stage, Jewish Community Center, Goodman Theater, Kennedy Center, Imagination Stage, DuPont Alley Dance Company, two of Fred’s dance companies, The Wild Zappers and the National Deaf Dance Theater, have toured across the United Sates, as well as several countries including Japan, Australia, Finland, and France. Not only has Fred worked within the Deaf community, he has also worked with highly acclaimed professional theater groups including Open Circle, Imagination Stage, Quest For Arts, Inc. and Liz Lerman Dance Co.
Fred has taught and choreographed dance for many Deaf and hearing children within the Metro Washington, DC area. He has worked with the Model Secondary School for the Deaf, Kendall Demonstration Elementary School as well as Gallaudet University. Fred developed and leads two different educational theater programs in over 300 schools within the metro Washington, DC area. The program, “Sign Me A Story,” is targeted to elementary school children allowing them to learn about American Sign Language and Deaf culture through interactive theater activities. The other program, “Let’s Sign and Dance,” is a family oriented program that include lessons on how Deaf people perform, dance and sign songs. He also established Theater Arts Leadership Training for Deaf People of Color at Gallaudet University.
Fred established the Black Deaf Expo and hosted it since 2003, providing the Deaf Black community the opportunity to stand proud, displaying their culture. Fred serves on the boards of DC Area Black Deaf Advocate, Quest for Arts, Inc., and is a member of the National Association of the Deaf. He was President of National Black Deaf Advocates, One of Essence Real Men of the Year, Deaf Person of The Month, just to name a few.
Special Thanks: Johanna Dobbs, Event Organizer with ASL Bridge and Consultant with Hands to Inspire and Gallaudet University
Saturday, October 22 at 5 PM with performance by Quest Visual Theatre – (Busboys and Poets, 2021 14th St., NW)
Sunday, October 23 at 3 PM
Guest artists: Connell Crooms aka “Bam Bam” (rapper, spoken word poet); Fred Beam (dancer, choreographer, actor, and founder of Invisible Hands); other TBA
– Washington DC Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th St., NW
or call 202-939-0794
…or dial 711, 202-855-1234 for Relay (ask for Michon, ITVS Community Cinema) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Deaf Jam, the story of deaf teen Aneta Brodski’s bold journey into the spoken word slam scene.Longing to explore and fully participate in the hearing world, Aneta dives into ASL poetry, a vibrant three-dimensional art form where body movements convey meaning. ASL poetry liberates a deaf poet from the confines of spoken language. There is no paper or text. Rhymes are measured in hand shapes and meter in movements. Images cut and dissolve as its verses transcend all spoken word.
In a remarkable twist of fate, Aneta, who is Israeli, meets and then collaborates with Tahani — a hearing Palestinian slam poet. They create a hearing/deaf duet touching on their shared personal and cultural experiences — generating a new form of slam poetry that speaks to both the hearing and the deaf. Deaf Jampremieres on the Emmy® Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens on Thursday, November 3, 2011 at 10 PM (check local listings).