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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:

DVD can be purchased thru


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.

Noah Buchholz

Noah Buchholz

Noah Buchholz is Assistant Professor of ASL and Deaf Studies at Bethel College in Indiana. He also is a Certified Deaf Interpreter and performing artist. He travels nationally and internationally, speaking and performing his ASL literary works. He speaks extensively on the topics of Deaf culture, Deaf theology, sign language interpreting, and ASL literature. He holds a BA from Wheaton College, where he majored in Ancient Languages and Theology, and MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary. He lives in South Bend, IN with his wife and daughter.

Shentara Cobb

Shentara Cobb

I grew up in Walterboro, South Carolina. Growing up I attended eight different schools. I attended mainstream public school and in the 7th grade moved to deaf school until I graduated. I graduated from National Technical Institute of the Deaf is under Rochester Institute of Technology and my major is in accounting. I have been involved in several performances and skits during school and college. I enjoy being involved in many activities and volunteer. I have three cats that are three years old; two girls and one boy. My cats are like my children, they are my fur babies.

I work full time as an administrative assistant for bioengineering department in the hospital and attend University of Louisville studying for a bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language (ASL) to become an ASL professor or teacher and also Certified Deaf Interpreter.

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 2016 as she appears in the Children’s program.

Sandra Mae Frank

Sandra Mae Frank

Whoever said that following your heart often means ignoring your mind clearly doesn't apply to her because her heart and mind thrives for one thing and that is performing. Originally from Louisville, KY where she first embraced the stage at age 16 in Crimes of the Heart and thus, her dream began. She rose to Gallaudet University, the only Deaf university to study Theatre Arts and she gained so much from stage managing, building the set and studying history of theatre to performing. She has been involved with World Deaf Cinema Festival, Fringe Festival in Washington, DC, short films and performing on the stage. She aspires to be a successful working artist.

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. Brandon will make another appearance this year as the Mayor of Oz in the Children's Program at DeaFestival 2016. Also, watch for his live tweets and Facebook posting during the day of the DeaFestival!

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, 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:

Wink can also be found at: and #WinkASL

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