A group of local alumni supporters enjoyed a unique theatrical experience on April 24. They were invited to a Sunday matinee of Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn at Ford’s Theatre and watched as deaf and hearing actors signed their way through the Deaf West Theatre production. Tickets were distributed by the Office of Development to show their appreciation to alumni who have made significant contributions to scholarships, academic programs, and other important areas at Gallaudet. The event proved popular as all tickets were enthusiastically accepted by Gallaudet supporters.
One of the alumni invited, Raphael St. Johns, ’87 & G-’00, gave the production a thumbs-up. “My wife and I loved the show. We had never experienced anything like it!” St. Johns says he contributes to Gallaudet because he knows the difficulties of attending school part-time while working to pay tuition. “The event was a great way to appreciate donors and show that Gallaudet University needs our support,” he said.
After the performance, attending alumni were invited to a reception where they mingled with President Jordan, Linda Jordan, and the Big River cast, many of whom are members of the Gallaudet community. Cast members of the D.C. production include Gallaudet students Christopher Corrigan and Christopher DeSouza as well as Adres Otalora, E-’99, Michelle Banks, E-‘90, professor Willy Conley, and Darren Frazier, ’94. Linda Bove and Ed Waterstreet, both members of the class of 1968, co-founded Deaf West Theatre. Waterstreet is now the artistic director of Deaf West, and Bove both facilitated the ASL translation of Big River and played several parts in the show.
With the high level of involvement from Gallaudet alumni and supporters, it seemed fitting that the event was co-hosted by the Office of Development and the Office of Alumni Relations. Both departments look forward to future events like this one.
To become a supporter or renew your support by making a gift, go to support.gallaudet.edu.
Posted: 24 May 2005