Brandon Kazen-Maddox is a Grandchild of Deaf Adults (GODA) and third-generation native signer of American Sign Language (ASL) who identifies as a Queer, Nonbinary, Black Indigenous Person of Color. Brandon grew up in Washington State and moved to San Francisco, CA, in 2010 to pursue a career as a professional circus acrobat. For seven years, Brandon honed their circus and dance training through various collaborations in theatre, film and opera. In 2017, Brandon moved to New York City and, in May 2019, graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with an MFA in Dance and New Technology. In the summer of 2020, Brandon co-founded Up Until Now Collective, a non-profit organization that focuses on creating art that is radically inclusive, joyful and necessary at the intersection of the Deaf, Blind, Disability, Theatre, Opera, Film Dance and Television communities. Brandon focuses their careers as professional choreographer, director and editor and ASL Artist both in New York City and remotely.
The American Sign Language (ASL) Dance Theatre Reimagining of Andrew Lippa’s WILD PARTY
Brandon Kazen-Maddox is a Grandchild of Deaf Adults (GODA) and third-generation native signer of American Sign Language (ASL) who identifies as a Queer, Nonbinary, Black Indigenous Person of Color.Artist Bio
The ASL Dance Theatre Reimagining of Andrew Lippa’s WILD PARTY aims to create a world in which authentically-represented Deaf and signing dancers lead the audience on a musical, textural, gestural journey through the seedy underbelly of the Deaf community during the prohibitive era of the roaring 1920’s.
The American Deaf community has long been portrayed as docile, pious and subservient to the dominant, hearing culture. Deaf people have been denied access to sign language, to equitable education, and have been sociologically-segregated from professional industries such as music, theatre and our own dance community. As a reaction to these injustices, The ASL WILD PARTY functions as a piece of powerful, contemporary revolution that works to underscore the importance of Black, Trans, Disabled, Deaf lives, and more.
The ASL WILD PARTY is a story of domestic violence, control, oppression and abuse and will be told through the lens of the Deaf and signing dance community. It is time to look at Deaf people as humans and as artists, capable of unimaginable depths and breadths of emotions and actions. The way our human community will move toward seeing one another as equal is by providing platforms for those who have previously been denied the opportunity to climb.
The project is composed of three key elements: Authentic Representation, Diverse Representation and Equitable Access through Universal Design.