The IRT Theater Deaf Emerging Artists Festival (D.E.A.F.)

The IRT Theater Deaf Emerging Artists Festival (D.E.A.F.) is an annual one-week program of performances, screenings and workshops aimed at creating common ground for Deaf and hearing artists.
D.E.A.F. 2010: June 1-6
All events at IRT: 154 Christopher St., #3B
Individual Tickets $9.99 for Shows and Workshop

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/111711


June1&2 (Tues./Wed)-7pm
MO2 Productions: UnContentED Love

An hour long visual presentation of spats, physical fights, repressed desires and lovers misunderstandings. And perhaps a hopeful kiss. This production takes many of the pearls created by Shakespeare and makes a new necklace. These re-strung fun old scenes take on new life and meaning. These excerpts from Shakespeare’s plays are performed in a striking visual presentation that includes ASL, VGC [Visual Gestural Communication], spoken English, and physical movements. The poetry comes alive in this accessible bringing together of characters from Othello, Romeo and Juliet, Two Gentlemen from Verona and more.

Directors: Monique Holt and Tim Chamberlain
Stage Manager: Thadeus Brown
Light Designer: Norah Matthews
MO2 Ensemble: James Caverly, Colin Analco, Sandra Frank, Aaron Halleck, Amelia Hensley, Annette McAllister, Michael Sprouse, and Caroline Suggs

June 2  (Wed)-8:30pm (Free)
Open Mic Night

(Taking Stage Night) Tonight YOU take the stage! Do you have a monologue? A poem? Can you tell a great story or maybe dance? When you come to see this show you will have an opportunity to sign-up to step on stage yourself. You can join the regular performers, NYC professionals, NTID students, published poets and people who are taking that first big risk of showing what they can do to an audience or you can sit back relax and watch a variety show. At the end of the evening everyone will have time to drink, be social, chat and share ideas.

June 3 (Thurs)- 7pm
BOX

Every BOX has six sides, twelve edges, and eight corners. It is consistent. It is what’s expected. It does not change. We often make ourselves slaves to finite expectations. When does our BOX become a prison?

Told predominantly through movement, this theater piece contemplates the safety, the comfort, and the joy of the BOX we know, all the while asking us to consider the possibilities that can arise when one is willing to step outside of that with which we are familiar and perhaps love more than anything else, in order to experience or perchance even to create something new.

Are you intrepid, or are you content with the finite definition of happiness and success that our social order dictates? Find out as you take this theatrical journey exploring a life lived inside and outside the BOX.

BOX made its debut at the 2009 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. “. . . thought provoking, innovative, interesting . . . not for traditionalists.”- broadwaybaby.com

June 4 (Fri.)-7pm
DR2

David Rivera and Douglas Ridloff are the yin and yang of ASL. The storytelling masters complement each other as DR2 salty and sweet, funny and dark, hot and cool. The duo hurls story after story celebrating the tribulations and triumphs of Deafhood in academia and life beyond, hitting every single ASL genre: poetry using handshapes and numbers, cinematic storytelling, stand-up comedy and a fun thing called duo signing. Their voiced performance provides the link between Deafhood and the rest of the world. You just have to come and see for yourself.

June 5 (Sat.)-2-4
Del-Sign workshop

Del-Sign workshop, a fun hands-on acting workshop using a fusion Physical technique blending the foundations of Francois Delsarte movement and the Foundations of American Sign Language taught by Luane Davis Haggerty, Ph.D. co-Founder of IRT and professor/director for the National Technical Institute of Technology Performing arts department, with the assistance of NTID Student actors from the recent production of “Little Women”.


June 5 (Sat.)-7pm
Eddie Swayze: ASL poetry performance
Film screening: Miriam Nathan Lerner: The Heart of the Hydrogen Jukebox

In 1984 at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, New York, poet Allan Ginsburg gavea reading attended not just by hearing audience members, but by several deaf people as well. Some had been translating English poetry into sign for years, but had not yet experimented with the idea of composing original poetry in American Sign Language – which is never written, but communicates through rich and intricate signs and body gestures that must be seen to be understood. An audience member translated part of Ginsburg’s written poem Howl into sign language: the phrase hydrogen jukebox. Watching the translation, Ginsburg was floored. He experienced an Ah ha! moment, and so did the entire audience. A new ASL poetry was born that night. It’s a literature of the flesh. It is kinetic, gorgeous, heart-rending, sexy, and its history makes beautiful cinema.

In The Heart of the Hydrogen Jukebox, Lerner has collected years of archival footage showing the proto-history of deaf poetry all the way back to the first filmed rendition, and proceeding to the Ginsburg breakthrough and decades beyond.

June 6 (Sun.)- 2pm
Andy Vasnick

In a special presentation from New York Deaf Theatre, Andy Vasnick, a Deaf
actor who was last seen in the motion picture, “Gerald”, as a young man’s
recently-discovered grandfather who happens to also be autistic, shares some
special experiences he’s had over the years, and takes questions from the
audience, too.

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Quick & Easy Topping Ideas

Avocado Salmon Roe

Avocado

As seen in the our ad

1 Avocado slice
1 tablespoon Salmon Roe
2 tablespoons lite cream cheese with scallions, chives or dill spread evenly across crispbread

For a touch of sweet flavor spread with honey

Cucumber/Almond

As seen in the our ad

3 cucumber slices
1 teaspoon cucumber-dill spread with chinese chives centered on cucumber
Almond slices placed on top of spread
Micro greens if desired

For a touch of sweet flavor spread with honey

A Meditation Walk

“Let’s take a meditation walk,” my mom suggested when she was visiting earlier this week.

That sounded neat.

“What is it?” I asked.

My mom said it’s when you take a walk in nature while meditating on a word or phrase. As you walk you don’t necessarily seek out specific things, but you do open yourself up to whatever gifts or lessons nature has to teach.

My mom, dad, and I all piled on our coats and boots and headed out into the woods. When we passed the woodshed, we discussed logs. When we passed the garden, we discussed vegetables. We talked about family and food and the gorgeous day. Before long we had finished the loop. Not exactly meditative. Oh, well. We still enjoyed each other’s company and the crisp air of nightfall. That’s priceless in itself.

Meditation walks are probably best when each individual wanders off on his or her own path. This morning I threw on sweatpants and headed outside. I was still wearing my pajama top. I had yet to comb my hair or eat. But I wanted to be outdoors first thing.

I choose to meditate on the words: “I will rejoice and be glad in this day.” The wind brushed against me with affection. The pines played a rustling tune. The sky offered colors of deep blue. The sun poured forth armfuls of warmth. I don’t know what this day will bring, but good or bad, happy or sad, easy or tough, I rejoice in its beauty.Š

In the Beginning

Thanks to all who have stopped by and/or left comments as the Wasa blog gets underway.

A couple people mentioned that this blog has inspired them to try yoga. I know the feeling. My husband inspired me to try yoga years ago after I watched him ease into a backbend with grace. I’ve mentioned that before, but what I failed to mention was the fact that I didn’t like my first yoga class. Or my second. Or third;

I knew the benefits of yoga – flexibility, awareness, inner stillness – were practices I needed in my life, but during class I couldn’t hold the poses. It takes time to find balance and build strength. Also, the teacher wasn’t a good fit. Plus, I kept slipping on my mat because I was wearing socks. Not to mention my loose-fitting t-shirt flipped over my head when I’d bend over for Downward Facing Dog.

So my first suggestion is to wear comfortable “stretchy” clothes. Slip off your shoes (and socks) before entering the studio. Bare feet help you “stick” to the mat. If you don’t have a mat, you can rent one. Sometimes they’re free, sometimes $1.

Okay, now you’re in the studio before class has begun. Believe it or not this can be the most intimidating part.

A few years ago I remember encouraging a friend to try a yoga class. We were traveling in San Francisco and the class was at 6am. I couldn’t attend because of another obligation (um, I believe it was sleep), but my friend was a super early riser and decided to try yoga for the first time. Ten minutes later she clamored back into the room complaining that when she walked in the studio all the students were gathering foam blocks, long white straps, and bolsters, and she had no idea what these were, if she needed any, and, if so, which ones she should take.¼br />

Oh gosh, I felt awful for sleeping in. I had completely forgotten how many times I’ve felt that exact same way when I’ve tried something new. Like the first time I tried a spinning class. I was standing in the cool dark studio when a group of women walked in all holding biking shoes (biking shoes? Oops! I didn’t have those). Then they began turning knobs, lowering the seats, and adjusting the handlebars. I was outta there in 30 seconds (I went back the next day – it turns out you don’t need biking shoes and the instructor showed me how to adjust the parts – but still).

Even just a few weeks ago I tried a new yoga studio and noticed the students folding blankets in a manner I’d never seen before. I’ve been practicing yoga for years and I still felt a bit out of place. I wasn’t sure if I should fold the blanket “my” way or “their” way. That question was answered when the teacher began class and showed everyone what she wanted us to do.

So, a few more suggestions: don’t worry about the blocks, straps, and blankets. They are props to help people (like me) adjust in certain poses. If you need a prop during a pose, the yoga teacher will bring it to you, or you can ask her before class begins. Also, consider brining a friend to your first class if that would make you feel more comfortable (a friend who has practiced before can show you the ropes; if not, you two can navigate the waters together).

Now class has begun . . . and you don’t understand a word the teacher is saying. Chaturanga Dandasana? Urdhva Mukha Svanasana? Virabhadrasana II? The same thing happened to me in a dance class once where the teacher was using terms I’d never heard. The students around me began spinning and hopping and twirling about as I stood there, motionless and a little annoyed (it was a “beginners” class). Finally I gave up and tried to sneak out of the room. A woman came over and touched me on the shoulder, “You just don’t know the lingo yet. You’ll get the hang of it,” she promised.

And I promise – you’ll get the hang of yoga lingo. I do, however, recommend finding an “intro to yoga” course if you’re trying it for the first time. After trying yoga and not liking it, I finally went to this 2-day orientation at Yoga Works. Instead of jumping right into sun salutations, we sat in a circle and talked. The teacher showed us how to breathe, answered our questions, and walked us slowly through the fundamental poses. That’s when yoga began to change to my life.

A Time to Feast

I’m hanging out with my parents when my dad sees me frantically rubbing my thumbs against the palms of my hands.

“Are you nervous?” he asks.

“Yeah,” I say.

He wants to know why. How to explain?

My parents have been visiting the past few days. I haven’t seen them in over six months. It’s the longest period of time we’ve ever been apart (even when I lived in Europe after college I saw them at least every four months). The past few days have been one big party. We’ve eaten red meat and fried foods. We’ve had Grasshoppers (ice cream and alcohol) and cookies. I think I munched on a vegetable in there somewhere – yes, I steamed spinach one night – but other than that, I can’t say I’ve been practicing “mindful eating” since Saturday. And my home yoga regime? Completely cut off once my parents arrived (although my mom saw my mat, which was rolled out on the floor, and she practiced sun salutations).

“I’m not sure what to blog about for Wasa this week,” I finally say to my dad.

“Well, let’s think,” he says.

“I’m supposed to blog about yoga and mindful eating, but I’m not inspired given my eating habits and lack of yoga practice,” I explain.

My dad is silent for awhile. “You could talk about how yoga is important for old people like me,” he finally says. “As people age, they are at an increased risk of falling. So write in your blog that yoga is important for balance and to do yoga with a Wasa cracker.”

“Uh, okay. Thanks,” I say.

“Just trying to help,” he says.

My mom chimes in too. “Oh, I know,” she says. “Blog about the fact that we bought a juicer.”

It’s true. My parents read the Wasa blog and were inspired to buy a juicer.

“Last week we made peach juice with vodka,” my mom says. “It was delicious!” She pauses. “Am I missing the point?”

Well, I do wish they would make vegetable juice instead, but maybe I’m the one who is missing the point. As I drop them off at the airport, I know what I’m going to blog about: A Time to Feast. This week we’ve hit up good restaurants and had fun cooking in too. We played cards and watched baseball and talked, all over scones for breakfast and steaks for dinner. It was a reunion. A celebration.  A time to enjoy life. Not that we couldn’t have done that over Brussels sprouts and brown rice, but eating well most of the time makes it easier to allow the exceptions. Not to mention, those “exceptions” are much appreciated.

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