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Affiliate Artists | Quest Visual Theatre | Changing the Arts, Changing Lives, Changing the World

Affiliate Artists

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Quest’s 30 affiliate artists represent a wide variety of ethnic, cultural, and artistic backgrounds. Seventy percent of the affiliates are people of color and nearly 40 percent are deaf or hard of hearing artists or individuals with disabilities. The affiliates agree to support Quest’s mission and to seek opportunities to work together. Quest’s affiliate artists are actors, writers, directors, dancers, choreographers, performance artists, and visual artists.

Stella Antonio – was born in Manila, Philippines and graduated from Gallaudet University with a BA degree in Theatre Arts specializing in developmental drama. While a student, Stella also danced with the Professional Dance Company for two years. For six years, she served as an ensemble actor and outreach educator for Cleveland Signstage Theatre.

Fred Michael Beam – The Artistic Director for the National Deaf Dance Theatre, Mr. Beam’s energetic choreography and performances have entertained audiences world wide.

Elena Blue – A former member of the National Theatre of the Deaf, Ms. Blue has performed throughout the world and carries a great passion for teaching acting to young people whether they are hearing or Deaf.

Walter Chakela – is the Artistic Director of the Winndybrow Centre for the Arts in Johannesburg, South Africa. Mr. Chakela has written, directed and produced a series of plays which have been performed at the Grahamstown Festival, Market Theater, Funda Centre and other locations throughout South Africa. He is one of the first black leaders in the performing arts in South Africa to work with performing arts councils and has been instrumental in the training and development of numerous black stage designers, technicians, and artists. Mr. Chakela has also initiated programs to include deaf South Africans in the Windybrow Centre’s activities.

Willy Conley – of Hanover, Maryland, is a professional actor, director, photographer, and award-winning playwright whose plays have been produced nationally and abroad. His most recent play, Oh, Figaro! co-written with John Augustine and produced by the National Theatre of the Deaf, is currently on national tour. Some of Conley’s writings and photographs were published in Gallaudet University Press’s No Walls of Stone, an anthology of literature by deaf & hard-of-hearing writers. His article From Lipreading Ants to Flying Over Cuckoo Nests about Deaf theatre artists was featured in the April 2001 issue of American Theatre. He also published two chapters on deaf theatre in the NYU Press Deaf Studies reader, Deaf World. Conley holds a Master of Arts degree in Playwriting from Boston University, where he studied under Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott, and a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre from Towson University. Currently, he is an associate professor of Theatre Arts at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. while maintaining his status as an Associate Artist with Center Stage and an Affiliate Artist with Quest: arts for everyone.

Stewart Carrera – Born in the Bahamas, Mr. Carrera has trained in the United States and India as a classical East Indian dancer.

Astad Deboo – Trained in the traditional Indian dance Kathakali, Graham Technique, mime, and Kabuki, this internationally renowned performer travels the world performing his unique blend of East and West.

Reme Grefalda – Ms. Grefalda is an award winning playwright and a leader in the Filipino-American community. She served on the staff for the Young Scholars Program celebration of Philippine culture.

Barbara Hardaway – Multi-media artist, actress, poet, and a faculty member of Gallaudet University’s English Department, Dr. Hardaway’s vibrant work reflects the passion and commitment of this eclectic artist.

Monique Holt – Actress, Director and Acting Instructor. She has BFA & MFA in theater. She has translated various texts (plays, poetry, sonnets, lyrics and other printed stories) to American Sign Language. She has devised several pieces, and collaborates on projects with other artists.

Mark Jaster – Mime, actor, and fool, Mr. Jaster received his classical mime training from Marcel Marceau and served on Mr. Marceau’s faculty for his American mime institute.

Paul Johnston – A former member of the National Theatre of the Deaf and currently a professor in Gallaudet University’s Fine Arts Department, Dr. Johnston’s art work, mostly in wood, reflect his keen vision and his strong pride in his Deaf culture.

Assane Konte – Mr. Konte is the creator and Artistic Director for the highly respected KanKouran West African Dance Company

Michael Lamitola (In Memoriam) – Mr. Lamitola was the Artistic Director of the National Theatre of the Deaf. He has performed and conducted theatre workshops over the past 25 years and worked with many foreign Deaf theater companies such as Sena Y Verbo in Mexico, Tsyt Teater in Sweden, The Action Players in India, as well as other countries such as Iceland, China, and Europe. He has appeared on a number of television programs and served as a faculty member for Gallaudet University’s Young Scholars Program.

Mihai Malaimare – Long recognized as Romania’s top actor, Mr. Malaimare is the founder and Artistic Director of the MASCA Theatre Company in Bucharest. This highly professional company combines mime, clowning, dance, and music to create a powerfully visual theatre

Shizumi Shigeto Manale – Internationally acclaimed dancer and mime, Shizumi combines traditional Japanese performing art forms with contemporary flavor to create her own unique style

Joseph McIntyre – Trained in both Western and Eastern styles of music, Mr. McIntyre is an accomplished musician and composer.

Reginald Metcalf – A professional actor and performance artist, Mr. Metcalf’s work frequently incorporates video and computer imagery with live action.

Ramesh Meyyappan – uses a range of visual and physical styles, ensuring accessibility to both deaf and hearing audiences. Much of his work has toured nationally and internationally. (www.rameshmeyyappan.com)

Maru Montero – Former principal dancer with the world renowned Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, Ms. Montero founded the Maru Montero Dance Company to preserve the joy, the beauty and the magic of our Latin American culture through dance.

Thembi Mtshali – recognized as one of South Africa’s most celebrated artists, Thembi is a vocalist, actress, television personality, choreographer, comedienne, and playwright. South African President, Nelson Mandela personally recognized Thembi for her life-long contributions in the arts with “special gratitude.” Thembi recent work has included singing on the soundtrack for the Lion King CD and appearing in Steven Spielberg’s film Deep Impact.

Josette Murray-Ballo – Was born in Trinidad and raised in NYC. Josette holds a MA in Shakespeare Theatre and has been teaching Shakespeare and educational theatre for ten years. In 1997, she founded the Shakespeare’s Sistah Theatre.

Mel Nelson – Mr. Nelson has written and performed music in a variety of contemporary styles for television, commercials, and the stage.

Mongezi Ntaka – A musician from South African. His band Mahala combines traditional South African music with sounds and rhythms. Mongezi has performed all over the world and recently participated in the Quest After School Arts Program at Parkdale High School.

Yola Rozynek – Trained at Israel’s famed Bat Dor Ballet Company, Ms. Rozynek was the lead dancer for Kol DeMama for 18 years and received the Kinor David award as Israel’s top professional dancer. Ms. Rozynek has performed, choreographed, and taught dance throughout the world.

Gema Sandoval – Ms. Sandoval has performed on stage and on film for over 30 years and is founder and director of Floricanto Dance Company in Los Angeles.

Lynn Scheppers – Received her certification from the Corcoran School of Art in Sculpture. Lynn’s specialty is working in metal and her works range from small jewelry to large freestyle art sculpture. Her works have been exhibited in studios and galleries throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area.

Kelvin Yazzie – Critically acclaimed ceramist, performance artist, and Fancy Dancer, Mr. Yazzie blends traditional Native American artistic techniques and styles with contemporary design to create exceptional new looks in his pottery and performance art.

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