We are excited to introduce you to our new nonprofit organization, based in Washington, DC, Visionaries of the Creative Arts (VOCA), which has a 501(c)(3) status. VOCA’s mission statement is to provide a visionary platform for deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing artists to collectively create, collaborate, and showcase their work through various forms of creative arts. Hence, VOCA is proud to announce its first production of Lorraine Hansberry’s brilliant play, A Raisin in the Sun, which will be remounted with a full Deaf cast at the Silver Spring Black Box Theatre in the heart of downtown Silver Spring, Maryland. During a limited engagement from April 1st through April 12th, 2020, A Raisin in the Suncan be seen with this amazing cast of actors.
The play was initially staged at Gallaudet University in the spring of 2018. Michelle Banks, a deaf actor, directed the play with a cast of fully Deaf African-American actors. Banks will also direct the upcoming limited engagement of A Raisin in the Sun along with Nayte Paxton, the assistant director. The production was the first with such a cast to be presented in the institution’s East Gilman theater 50+ years of existence. During the last year’s showing, the Deaf and hearing communities raved about the storyline, vivacious acting, and the fusion of spoken English and American Sign Language (ASL) simultaneously. Despite the successful response, the production ran for only two weekends. The excitement generated by the wonderful acting and the uniqueness of the cast left a great number of people requesting additional shows. We realized that the play was too important not to continue spreading the awareness about African-American Deaf culture through the theatrical platform. In addition to this, we recognized a huge untapped market for this kind of opportunity to reach out to those who haven’t witnessed the breathtaking production of A Raisin in the Sun.
In order to remount this spectacular piece of work for Spring 2020, we need the community’s support. Bringing it back onstage would provide an opportunity for more people to see and appreciate the talent and skill of the African-American Deaf theatre community. It also promotes the presence of Deaf culture in the arts to a wider audience. With your donation, we can fulfill our vision. To help cover the costs of the production we need to raise $25,000. The amount of the fund will be distributed towards production expenses such as theater venue, set, costumes, and actors' stipends. Your donation of our efforts will be greatly appreciated. Please take the opportunity to learn more about our organization, VOCA, and the production of A Raisin in the Sun on our website, www.visionariesofthecreativearts.org.