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Anderson Twins

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 always seemed to find them, and still does!!

They join us again in 2018 for the sixth time where they will perform in the Children’s program and act as Emcees for the SpotLights Main Stage.

Miles Barbee

Miles Barbee

Miles first big step into acting was his 2015 Broadway debut in the Spring Awakening Revival. He continued his acting journey after Broadway starring as AJ in the feature film Talk to The Hands and as Steve in the short film This is Ed!

Most recently, Miles stars as Dummy Hoy in the Silent Natural. This is role has been a huge step for Miles in his career and one that he is extremely proud of.

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.

Linsay Darnall Jr.

Linsay Darnall Jr.

Linsay Darnall Jr., is a versatile individual whose experience ranges from chasing cattle in western Nebraska when he was young to serving the National Association of the Deaf as a board member. His reputation as an eloquent speaker and an expert advocate for Deaf people's rights is held in esteem across the nation.

Born to Deaf parents, Darnall grew up in Polk, Nebraska. He and his brother attended their parents’ alma mater, Nebraska School for the Deaf in Omaha. He then attended Gallaudet University, where he studied government, before returning to Nebraska to continue his advocacy and community work.

Darnall has been heavily involved in the community for several decades. Among his experience is serving as vice-president of Nebraska Association of the Deaf for two years, president of Nebraska School for the Deaf Alumni Association for 17 years, and as National Association of the Deaf Region II board member for two years. He is serving on the Hands and Voices Board and Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Advisory Board. He also co-founded the Nebraska Deaf Heritage Museum and Cultural Center. His work with deaf youth and theatre was featured in the Omaha World-Herald. Darnall received the Outstanding use of American Sign Language award from the Gallaudet University Theater Department and The James Sowell Appreciation Award from Nebraska Association of the Deaf.

With an extensive knowledge of American history and deaf history, Darnall is renowned as a quintessential historian who is often fully clad in authentic period costumes during performances and lectures. His captivating, fluent storytelling creates unique learning experiences for school-aged children who use sign language. Guided tours at any historical site, especially Civil War battlefields, are also available.

Hula Bella

Hula Bella

Based in Southern California, Hula Bella, is well known for her signature flamboyant Purple-Orange-Pink hair, her hula hoops and fire fans. Hula Bella graduated from the California School for the Deaf, Fremont in 2005. She studied at Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise L.A. (FIDM LA) in Graphic Design (AS) and Business Management (BS).

Hula Bella’s passion for hula hooping began only 6 years ago when she picked up a friend’s hoop to give it a try. She was hooked from that moment! In a 6-year span she went on to perfect her hula and fire hooping skills and to become a Certificated Hoop Dance Teacher. As a professional hula hoop entertainer and fire dancer she has had the opportunity to spin her way performing in Europe, Canada and throughout the US to showcase her captivating skills. She looks forward to returning this October for her 5th season at Queen Mary’s 'Dark Harbor' in Long Beach, CA.

Sean Forbes

Sean Forbes

Sean is a musician on a mission. An accomplished and passionate drummer, rhythm pours out of him, when he breathes, walks, types at his keyboard or hits his drums. Music is in his blood, his cells; it’s just the way he is. He’s also deaf – and out to build a badly needed bridge between the music industry and deaf people everywhere.

Sean grew up in Detroit where his parents, both musicians, filled their home with the sounds of the Motor City: Mitch Ryder, Bob Seger, the Funk Brothers and more. Despite losing his hearing as a baby, Sean soaked up the beats and the vibrations, experiencing great music in his own way.

Inspired by what he calls “The Three B’s” (the Beastie Boys, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan), Sean started out making music videos in his basement and today is producing professional music videos with a focus on the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. He is a voice for not only his generation but deaf culture. He is co-founder of D-PAN, The Deaf Professional Arts Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on translating popular artists' songs into American Sign Language music videos for the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities.

With his passion for music, Sean has opened the door to musical expression – a world historically considered off limits to people in the deaf community. His dream of music for all has helped to transform the way deaf people perceive music. Through his videos and his outreach to deaf people everywhere – particularly young people eager to feel included in popular culture – music is being presented to them as a beautifulsymphony of thought and expression, available to all. The hearing community, too, is fascinated by his ASL translations of musical hits and is clamoring for more. Since 2008, Forbes has also performed in over 20 cities across the US and has appeared in front of over 15,000 people.

Sean Forbes is living proof that if you have enough passion and dedication, magic happens and dreams come true. “The world is run by those who show up,” he says, “And I’m showing up.”

Rosa Lee

Rosa Lee

Rosa Lee is a performance artist known mostly for her YouTube ASL music videos, her work as a solo performer of The Rosa Lee Show, and as a lead actress in ASL Films’ feature film, Versa Effect.

Rosa Lee attended Indiana School for the Deaf and then went on to graduate from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) with a B.S. in Social Work. It was RIT where she discovered her love for acting. Rosa Lee founded and acted in an acting troupe named Dangerous Signs. Later on, Rosa Lee became recognized nation-wide for her ASL music videos featured on YouTube. Rosa Lee also worked as managing editor of the digital magazine, KISSFIST Magazine.

For 23 years now, Rosa Lee has been in several stage productions, performance troupes, television shows, and countless videos.

Rosa Lee also travels all across the country giving workshops/instruction on the art of ASL music, storytelling, and rhythm. Currently, Rosa Lee can be seen performing her one-woman variety show, “The Rosa Lee Show” where she plays different characters sharing stories, poetry while celebrating the beauty of American Sign Language. Rosa Lee also worked as an ASL Translator and Performer for Deaf Film Camp at Camp Mark Seven, helping make music videos that have gone viral nationwide.

Magic Morgan

Magic Morgan and Liliana

Back by popular demand, three-time recipient of the World Magician Award Matthew "Magic" Morgan and Liliana truly keep the audience at the heart of the show by inviting people onstage to be a part of the magic. Performed in over 50 countries and in all states within the United States!

Prepare for eye-popping illusions, stunts with live animals, and seemingly impossible tricks in an unusual and incredible display of magic from deaf entertainers Magic Morgan and Liliana. Come and be amazed as this husband and wife act combines magic, miming and comedy while communicating in the universal language of fun!

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.

Kyle Schulz

Kyle Schulz

Known as the Deaf Ninja Warrior, Kyle Schulz is a two time competitor, on season 9 and 10, of American Ninja Warrior. Born deaf, Kyle Schulze who grew up in the Midwest took every opportunity he saw and made it fun.

Kyle immersed himself in competing in Obstacle Course Races (OCR) which helped him develop the ability and interest to do Ninja obstacles. He started rock climbing in an indoor gym in 2011 and is now an avid outdoor sport lead climber. He has traveled to climb in KY, ID, WI, IL, IN, MI, CO and AZ.

His sports background includes:

  • 15 years of Shotokan Black Belt Martial Art training
  • A lifetime of soccer, including an adult league
  • Dancing for 8 years
  • High School Marching Band - Drumline
  • High school sports including: Lacrosse, Track, Cross country and Wrestling

Kyle says that being a Ninja Warrior isn't all about glory and winning. “I want to use my Ninja experience to help motivate others and to inspire people how to focus their energy to be the best they can be. I have also tremendously enjoyed helping bring an awareness of the deaf culture. I aspire and strive to be a positive role model throughout my journey.

Brett Shaffer

Brett Shaffer

Brett Shaffer is a man of many talents; one of his favorites is being a comedian! Born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania, Brett attended Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) in Pittsburgh. Brett graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree with honors at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, New York, where he also studied filmmaking. He is currently employed as a software developer for Food Service Enablers and works remotely from home in Canada where he resides. He is happily married and has two beautifuldaughters. He met his Canadian wife through Vine. Growing up, he was inspired by his longtime favorite actor, Jim Carrey, also a Canadian. From a young age, Brett enjoyed making people laugh so he began his show, The Flipside, on Facebook in 2017. It has been well received and has many followers. When he is not glued to his computer, he enjoys doing what he loves and is most proud of being a dad to his daughters.

Warren WAWA Snipe

Warren "WAWA" Snipe

Acclaimed Hip Hop Recording Artist, WAWA, has been hitting the ground running with music with insatiable drive since he first picked up the mic in 2005 and began writing and rhyming at an unstoppable pace.

When you go to "WAWA's House", you'll be taken to a whole new level of music through DEAF eyes! With 15+ years in the game with no signs of slowing down at all, WAWA's critical reception and positive acclaim has manifested over the years through not only admirable work ethics, but also through a charismatic, diligent original persona and genre that he labels "Dip Hop" (Hip Hop through deaf eyes), a unique sound of audio & imagery that has helped the rising artist garner a growing fan base that has landed him many opportunities onstage, in the studio, and everything in between that the industry offers.

His rendering of Dip Hop explores Hip Hop in a way where the focus is taking on challenges and educating people about deaf musicians in the hearing world. A pursuit where he hopes to put deaf Recording Artists on the map in the mainstream public interest. Something not only original, but admirable, genuine, and bringing music to a whole new world of audiences of artists where their disadvantage ultimately becomes their biggest one. Something that has strongly showcased WAWA's interest in inspiring to aspire. Even to those who are more challenged to do so.

In 2016, WAWA released his sophomore album "Deaf: So What?!" An album that further explores the pursuit of proving that a disadvantage can be its polar opposite; an album of inspiration for those to understand and pursue music without the sense of hearing.



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