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Children's Program Bios

Children's Program Emcee

Peter Cook

Peter Cook

Peter S. Cook is an Internationally reputed Deaf performing artist whose works incorporates American Sign Language, pantomime, storytelling, acting, and movement. Peter has traveled extensively around the country and aboard with Flying Words Project to promote ASL Literature with Kenny Lerner since 1986. Peter has appeared in Live from Off Center’s “Words on Mouth” (PBS) and “ United States of Poetry” (PBS) produced by Emmy winner Bob Holman. Peter is also associate professor for ASL-English Interpretation at Columbia College Chicago where he received the 1997 Excellence in Teaching award. In 1998, Peter set up a video production called PC Production and have been producing more than ten videos including the award winning video, ‘A Gator Ride to the Dentist’.

Peter was featured nationally in festivals such as the Jonesboro National Storytelling Festival, Oklahoma City Winter Tales, Illinois Storytelling Festival, Indiana Hoosier Storytelling Festival, Eugene Oregon Multi-Cultural Festival, and The Deaf Way II and the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Peter was invited to the White House to join the National Book Festival in 2003. Internationally, Peter has worked with Deaf storytellers/poets in Austria, Latvia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Italy and Japan.

Peter can be contacted by email: pscookprod@aol.com.

DVD can be purchased thru www.deafpetercookonline.com

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Clay and Levi Anderson

How often do you get to see Deaf and hearing twins on stage talking about their experiences as individuals or ... perhaps as twins? Hence, the Anderson twins, with their tad heavy, bald Deaf men coming in to provide the humor perspective to entertain the Deaf Communities, hearing or deaf alike, across the nation!

Levi and Clay Anderson grew up in the small New Mexico town of Milan. They were the only twins in the town, and Levi was the only Deaf child. They tried as hard as they could to be saints, but unfortunately trouble seemed to find them. And being in such a small town, their father would always be the first to know!

“This is where the boys get their sense of humor, they have been trying to impress people since they were in diapers!” said their dad, Frank Anderson.

Clay and Levi have come up with a show that will have you laughing out loud. Of course, the show is based on real-life events, made-up imaginations (realistic, of course!) and stuff that is impossible to be told but someone has to do this, right?

They join us again in 2014 for the fourth time and will appear in the Children’s program and SpotLights Main Stage.

http://theandersontwins.com

Ethan Cook

Bio coming soon!

Tammy Ellis

Tamara “Tammy” Ellis is a nationally known Deaf entertainer. She first made her debut at various US schools for the Deaf and performed for audiences at Gallaudet University, Deaf Awareness functions and several Deaf Festivals across the country. Her performance captivates children and adults with mimic dialogue and improvisational skits that warm the hearts of every audience. She has built a reputation in the Deaf community with her performances and has worked with many renowned Deaf entertainers such as Peter Cook, Linda Bove, Chuck Baird, Bill Carwile, Phyllis Frelich, and C.J. Jones.

Tammy has performed at DeaFestival off and on since 1998 and we welcome her back in 2014 as she appears in the Children’s program.

Paige Hawkins

Born into a deaf family in 1995, Paige was bitten by the acting bug at the age of 10 and began performing in school talent shows. She quickly became a favorite, and in the last several years she has won awards for literary and ASL Poetry. Paige graduated from the Indiana School for the Deaf where her favorite subjects were Math, Art and of course, Drama!! She is now attending Gallaudet University. She is currently involved in a deaf TV series entitled, "Dr. Wonder's Workshop". She is 19 years old and a little person with big dreams to go to Hollywood. Welcome her to her second DeaFestival as she joins the “World of Pure Imagination” in the Children’s Program.

Brandon Henry

A native of Austin Texas, Brandon attended EVERY DeaFestival since he was a baby. He enjoyed it so much that he got involved with Peter Cook's performances several times in Children's Programs. He was also a roving junior reporter for DeaFestival 2010 and an interviewer at DeaFestival 2012. After his very first week as a freshman at Gallaudet University, Brandon will make another appearance as an Oompa Loompa in the Children's Program at DeaFestival 2014.

Crom Saunders

Crom Saunders

Crom Saunders grew up in Northern California, graduating from California State University, Sacramento with a M.A. in Creative Writing. Crom has his own one-man show, “Cromania!”, which tours internationally, featuring skits incorporating over 40 different characters, comedy, improv, and storytelling, now in its 9th year of bringing laughter to audiences all over.

Crom has also been gaining recognition online with his Clogs, his unique vlogs which have been viewed by thousands of people on YouTube and Facebook.

Crom first entered the world of performing and visual arts by being a co-founder of the improv-comedy theatre group, ICEWORM in 2000, and was a co-director of the ASL-accessible arts group, The Five Eyes Project, in 2012.

Crom also has interpreted dozens of plays, and has taught dozens of ASL linguistics and theatrical workshops across the nation. He currently teaches, and is Director of the Deaf Studies BA degree program at the ASL-English Interpretation Department of Columbia College, Chicago.

Wink

Wink

Wink, NIC Master, enjoys researching and creating various workshops that focus on skill building through deliberate practice (RID Views, Winter 2012). Presenting workshops the last five years at national conferences (NAD, RID, Silent Weekend) regional conferences (RID I, II, III, IV), state conferences, and local workshops across the nation has given Wink experiences to enhance applications for interpreters of all levels. Wink is widely noted for the comfortable atmosphere he creates and the passion he exudes. Currently Wink travels full time performing, presenting workshops, and managing Winkshop, Inc, through which he has developed a dozen training DVDs. A fun fact: in 2013 alone, Wink traveled professionally enough miles to circle the earth over three times.

For more information visit: www.WinkASL.com

Wink can also be found at: www.YouTube.com/WinkASL and #WinkASL

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Crom Saunders decided, on a whim, to write in “Deaf” under ethnicity on a fifth-grade survey and has remained that way ever since. Crom was once a character in a 1920’s farce but after the show was canceled, he never got the memo and kept on evolving into a real person-like Pinocchio, but without the creepy puppet stuff. Crom feeds off the energy of live audiences, and therefore tries to be in front of one as much as possible, all over the world. Crom’s lifetime goal is to perform his “Moses the Cat” in a new sign language at least once every year. Crom tends to make a lot of stuff up, or be funny, or at least funny-looking while on stage. He writes stuff. He does stuff. He’s a stuff expert. Crom also has the most amazing pair of eyebrows ever seen in 21st century America. http://thecromsaunders.com/ http://writercrom.blogspot.com/