Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Setting the record straight

The decision by the Core Group in NYC has initiated a mixture of emotions, mostly in surprise and disappointment.

This posting is to get the record straight, as there are questions about the role the New York Core Group played in this protest.

Obtaining a permit to host a protest in New York City is NOT a cake walk. One member has been tirelessly trying week after week since the end of October to work with the NYPD on this matter.  The detective who handles Community Affairs has very limited hours; and rarely answers the phone. This (deaf!) member called the main desk several times and was either permanently put on hold, hung up on, or yelled at about how much they hate VP calls and berating further at how 'deaf people need to have other people speak for them'.  What if that deaf person was trying to report a rape?  A murder?  A fire?  Apparently our personal safety isn't of concern, even though our tax dollars are spent to pay the NYPD to protect us...?!  

As a result of this, a report is being filled out with an independent agency, CCRB (Civilian Complaint Review Board) on the conduct of NYPD.  In addition this matter will be brought up at the local precinct community meeting, as well as a letter to the MOPD (Mayor's Office of Persons With Disabilities).  As you can see, the work doesn't stop here - a physical demonstration may not be happening - but this protest is FAR from over; we at the NYCG are continuing our fight, but doing it in different ways we find attainable (writing our own scripts, strengthening our networks, etc.) that might be a far cry from the guts, guns and glory that some people seek.  

It's called dirty work.

This member is but only one of this hard-working group in New York that has bit quite a few nails in this process.  The other members have war stories to share, but feel mutually frustrated at the excessive demands imposed on the NYCG.  We understand there is the need to handle the mushrooming issue for advocacy of deaf actors. But our resources are quite thin.  The NAD (National Association of the Deaf), NYCCAD (New York City Civil Association of the Deaf), ESAD (Empire State Association for the Deaf) as well as NYDT (New York Deaf Theatre) have yet to demonstrate the political power needed to make improvements in for the Arts in the deaf community. 

Our message has, and always will be -  



By demonstrating outside the theatre of NYTW, the immediate political impact makes us appear to be attacking NYTW - in which we are NOT.

Regardless of assumptions made about our progress, certain factors are out of our control - and our honesty has remained. 

Based on conversations we've had with people who have already attended the show - the contradiction of the Acting Group is obvious and can speak for itself (pun not intended).  There is a possibility that some deaf viewers will see this show.  Their response on the show will reverberate far greater than a few flyers handed out for just one evening.    

Please respect our wishes when we ask for understanding and (constructive!) support.

In solidarity, 


Protest Demonstration CANCELLED

Due to developments in recent weeks concerning the protest against Heart Is A Lonely Hunter - the New York Core Group has decided to cancel the live demonstration scheduled for Saturday, November 28th and December 3rd.

A future posting will explain our position and current strategy to confront this issue.

Monday, November 2, 2009

We're just getting started...

Welcome to our blog! In recent weeks, the hot-button issue of casting hearing actors to take the place of 'deaf' roles in the theatre community has mushroomed. The New York Times, Huffington Post, along with numerous pundits and bloggers have taken notice. The public response has ignited heated rhetoric. Comments for the mentioned articles have shown that many readers have not hesitated to express themselves vociferously.

The casting decisions associated with New York Theatre Workshop's "Heart Is A Lonely Hunter" and Circle in the Square's "Miracle Worker" on Broadway has led to many conversations, challenges and questions about the validity of these perspectives. The aim of this blog has two main points. One, to enable readers to draw their own conclusions on the matter by providing factual information. And this blog will track the ongoing protest carried out by advocates of deaf actors.

Note: this blog is NOT a place where actors (named or not) will be attacked. It is our wish to open this for a healthy discourse between different points of views - and arrive at novel conclusions.

Please read the following articles by the New York Times and other publications to bring you up to speed on this heated issue.

There will be a visible protest taking place at the end of this month within the vicinity of the New York Theatre Workshop. More information will be made available shortly. Please keep checking back with us! We look forward to your advocacy and support during this time of protest.