Zahna: Hello!  We have a unique event coming up soon. Urban Jazz Dance Company presents “Deaf’s Imprisoned”.This will be happening on Thursday November 8th to Sunday November 11th. 
It is located at CounterPulse, 80 Turk Street in San Francisco really close to Powell BART station and also many MUNI/Bus lines. The showtimes are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm. 
This show will be focused on Deaf people in prison in depth and will show the lack of accessibility. We will also explore how Deaf people can feel stuck in society– a “Hearing world” and often feel trapped. Urban Jazz Dance Company will performing all four nights. We’re thrilled to invite local Deaf artists from our community.

Joy: On Thursday, November 8th, Christopher Smith (name sign), A black Deaf queer with Multiple Sclerosis will present his amazing work.On Friday November 9th – Rosa Lee Timm and JAC Cook have a special treat for you.
On Saturday November 10th we will have a panel- it’s your chance to ask questions! On Sunday November 11th – Ian Sanborn (name sign) will show his unique abstract perspective theme through Deaf eyes.

Maim: Did you know? Sometimes Deaf prisoners doesn’t have access to activities such support groups or meetings with lawyer because there are no interpreters provided. Also, sometimes when a prison guard is calling a Deaf prisoner and they don’t respond (because they can’t hear the guard), the Deaf prisoner will get punished and thrown in isolation. We will be sharing more facts during the show. Mr (Antoine) Hunter presented an expert of this work “Deaf In Prison” which was originally developed for the 2017 Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival, #BAIDDF2017. Since then he has continued to research, develop and expand the excerpt into a full one hour show.

Zahna: How do you feel working on this project?

Maim: Wow. This process..  Since Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival 2017, my first time being involved in this work, the more we work on it, the more I learn about Deaf experience. Not only my own or my friend’s experiences but also others, in different countries- in the US and my home country.  I learn there are many different Deaf experiences about how we live in the hearing world. Here we work as Deaf and Hearing dancers and artists together in this process.  I can see how the more we learn about each other then we can become a better society as a whole and better allies to each other. 

Zahna: My personal experience working on this project – I  have been involved in Urban Jazz Dance Company for three years now and before that in many other different dance companies.  During this rehearsal process, I find myself aching for these Deaf prisoners in each rehearsal. I’ve never felt so connected in the rehearsal process while learning, exploring and researching about these experiences and situations of other Deaf people. That could be me in their shoes. That’s really tough.  Even thought our jobs are to educate and spread awareness about Deaf culture, Deaf/Hard of hearing issues, children, language deprivation and more. It is intense and some days its very emotional and hurts on a deep level and other days we just keep going. 

Joy: My personal experience in this process – while I’m practicing, learning new moves, statements, expressions, I find similarities to my own life – communication barriers, inaccessibility, obstacles and frustration – those are even worse in prison- all those are integrated into this creation along with empathy and understanding. 

Zahna: We’re honored to collaborate with CounterPulse, who believes in Mr Hunter’s vision. 
This space is wheelchair accessible, and we will have ASL interpreters all four nights. If you need more accommodations such DeafBlind interpreters, audio descriptions, please contact us at least three weeks before the event.
Joy: Tickets are selling out, BUT, there are still early bird tickets available for $12. Grab them now! 

Zahna: grab them! 

Joy: If you don’t want to miss any of our guest artists, go ahead and get a four-day festival pass for $50! thats awesome!

Zahna: wow!

Maim: yes! Adding to that – During rehearsals I see there are so many new details added everyday and it makes me want to see the show myself all our days! Really, I don’t think I could consume all the details in once. I recommend to see this more than once. 
Please spread the word, share and spread the word. It’s deep and important. come with friends, ASL students, children. all are welcome.
How to buy tickets? on More information about this show on Urban Jazz Dance Company’s Facebook page and website

Zahna: We hope to see you here. Not only to learn about this project but also to learn how you can make a difference. 

Joy and Maim: Yes. come! 

Thank you for watching!
Tickets: – Deaf’s Imprisoned

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