Fred Beam | Deaflix Studios
Creative director & Executive producer
Actor, producer, director, choreographer and deaf community advocate, Fred Michael Beam, has been named outreach coordinator for Sunshine 2.0, the new theater outreach program at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf. Sunshine 2.0 is a professional theater troupe that will travel to schools, organizations, conferences, civic groups, festivals and other venues, offering performances and activities for children and adults that highlight the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), as well as educational topics pertaining to the deaf experience. The performances are presented in voice and American Sign Language, are accessible to all audience members, and cover subjects for people of all ages, free of charge. Sunshine 2.0 is a 21st-century reboot of Sunshine Too, a similar on-the-road performing arts program that was established in 1980 and, during its 19-year history, visited 48 states and several countries presenting programs developed around the themes of deaf awareness, social issues and the environment. The troupe provided more than 12,500 performances for more than 1.3 million people worldwide. Beam, an RIT/NTID alumnus from Tampa, Fla., has a varied theatrical background, including acting, choreography, directing, administration, advocacy and leadership. He served as president of National Black Deaf Advocates from 2007 to 2009, and executive director of Invisible Hands International, which promoted deaf awareness through the performing arts. He previously performed as one of the Wild Zappers, an American Sign Language/dance ensemble of black deaf men, which he co-founded with Irvine Stewart and Warren “Wawa” Snipe in 1989. The troupe performed throughout the United States and abroad. Beam also directed the National Deaf Dance Theatre and has been a theater and dance instructor at Gallaudet University for over 20 years. “Fred’s career has been devoted to building bridges between communities,” said Aaron Kelstone, Sunshine 2.0 producer. “NTID looks forward to having him working with Sunshine 2.0 to establish connections between NTID and schools and programs throughout the nation.” For his outstanding work with the deaf community, Beam was chosen one of Essence Magazine’s Real Men of the Year (2006) and was DEAF LIFE magazine’s Deaf Person of the Month in December 2007.
Alexandria Wailes, Deaflix Studios
You may recognize Deaflix Studios Director Alexandria Wailes as the artist who performed the National Anthem in ASL for the 111,000,000 viewers of the 2017 Super Bowl. The only deaf child in a hearing family, Alexandria received her formal education at Philadelphia's University of the Arts and spent subsequent decades establishing a prominent international presence as an actor, director, choreographer and American Sign Language consultant for stage, television, independent films, and music videos. She is currently appearing nightly in Children of a Lesser God on Broadway. She toured previously with the critically acclaimed Deaf West Theater’s production of BIG RIVER. Alexandria also worked on the Tony-nominated Deaf West production of SPRING AWAKENING as the associate choreographer and added to her Broadway credits as Marlee Matlin's understudy for "Adult Woman" and proudly being given the role of "Adult Woman" for the show's final month at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. The list of international A-list actors, globally known directors, composers and visual artists Alexandria has worked with is extensive. She shared the stage with Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline in the Public Theatre's Shakespeare in the Park production of MOTHER COURAGE, adapted by Tony Kushner and directed by George C. Wolfe. Alexandria is widely recognized by television viewers. She has appeared on Nurse Jackie, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, HBO’S High Maintenance and Don’t Shoot The Messenger which she both acted in and directed for WGN. In early 2013, Alexandria became a resident member of the Heidi Latsky Dance Company. In true artist multi-tasking form, she is a museum educator for the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Lincoln Center Performing Arts and the Jewish Museum. You may also see her featured in the Guggenheim’s online ASL blogs highlighting their works in the Thanhauser Gallery.
Monique Holt | Deaflix Studios
Monique Holt is a former Presidential Fellow at Gallaudet University. At a young age, Monique caught the theatrical bug watching a production of Swan Lake. She got her first chance to perform as a student at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington DC. She earned a B.F.A. in acting from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and an M.F.A. from Towson University in Maryland. Monique’s training has focused on acting, physical movement, modern dance and teaching. She is the author of the Night Was so Hungry That it Ate the Moon, a play she wrote for her kindergarten students to perform when she was Artist-in- Residence at the Fanwood School for the Deaf. Ms. Holt went on to become an Adjunct Professor in the Theatre Department at Gallaudet. Monique Holt is a widely respected performer and director of ASL in Film, TV and Stage Productions. Currently under contract with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, she has played the lead female role in I Was Most Alive With You with the Huntington Theatre Company, King Lear for the Shakespeare Theatre Company and Hamlet at the Village Repertory. Her credits as a director include shows for New York Deaf Theatre, Onyx Theatre Company, Gallaudet University, and Open Circle Theatre Company. In addition to ASL, Ms. Holt has mastered French, Russian, Spanish, Japanese and Korean Sign Languages. She has coached sign language in the production of A House on the Hill, (signing in both Russian and French,) A Big River and Clybourne Park. Monique Holt’s ability to communicate in ASL and the sign languages of five other nations will prove invaluable as Deaflix Studios produces programming for an audience of 70,000,000 signers worldwide.
Jackie Roth | Deaflix Studios
director, Executive producer
Jackie Roth has had an eclectic career which includes acting, producing an Academy Award nominated film, SOUND and FURY, working in a civil rights law firm bringing ADA cases and now one of New York City’s top realtors. Roth believes her deafness has helped her succeed in business. She has the ability to read faces and features better than anyone. Throughout her career, she has been a bridge between the deaf and the hearing worlds. Author Andrew Solomon featured Roth is his book “Far from the Tree” in which he explores raising children with appreciable differences due to deafness and other challenges. The book chronicles Roth’s upbringing as the daughter of two deaf parents who felt limited by their hearing impairment. Jackie never has! In additional to her other business ventures, Jackie is currently developing an original screenplay and consulting on television and other media projects.
John Sgarlet | Deaflix Studios
Board of directors
John Sgarlat, Deaflix Studios Executive Producer, has 40 years of experience at the highest level of corporate finance and television production. Following a successful career as a Partner in a prominent Wall Street Firm, Sgarlat formed National Media Corporation which became the largest purchaser of Cable Television time in the United States.
In his role as Executive Producer, Sgarlat worked with many of the most well-known names in Hollywood at the time including Telly Savalas, John Ritter, Chuck Connors, Florence Henderson, Judy Collins, Richard Simmons and Dick Clark.
In later years Sgarlat was elected Chairman and CEO of eContent Inc. which owned MPI the nation’s most prolific producer of PBS Pledge Drive Specials. These PBS Specials were viewed by over 150,000,000 people. In addition to PBS, Sgarlat produced programming for CBS, BBC, FNN and other major networks.
Tom Farrell | Deaflix Studios
Board of directors, executive producer, deaflix studios
With over 28 years in television, Tom is an experienced Executive Producer, working with the top names in entertainment with the top networks and streaming services. He is the CEO of The WorkShop, a production company he started in 2008. The WorkShop is a vertically integrated content studio serving its clients from the creative development stage through final production. Tom spent 120 episodes as an Executive Producer for TLC’s popular Trading Spaces as well as Golf Channel’s smash hit The Haney Project.
Farrell has produced series for Netflix, Amazon, Discovery, HGTV, Disney and several other major networks and has worked with the top celebrities in entertainment such as Charles Barkley, Ray Romano, Adam Levine, Michael Phelps & Rickie Fowler.
Todd Donnelly | Deaflix Studios
Todd Donnelly co-founded Viamedia in 2001 and serves as a Board Member. Viamedia is the largest non-MSO affiliated video ad sales organization in the US offering video providers a full turn-key solution from a 100% independent firm. Viamedia provides dependable, high quality representation of their client’s advertising inventory, as well as an extensive suite of online marketing services & solution. Todd currently is a partner and Director of Business Development for The WorkShop, which brings to life compelling stories on screen. True North: The Sean Swarner Story, airing across the country on PBS & streaming on Amazon; Vince Papale’s Invincible the True Story for Reelz Network; Basketball or Nothing, co-production with Rickie Fowler.
Tom Caamaño | Deaflix Studios
Tom Caamaño is an Emmy nominated documentary director, with over 17 years’ experience. Tom is currently a director and partner at The WorkShop, LLC. As a director, Tom’s recent credits include True North, The Sean Swarner Story for PBS and ESPN, Vince Papale’s Invincible the True Story for Reelz Network and The Keystone Connection for Comcast SportsNet.
In the past Tom has worked for ESPN, ABC Sports, Showtime, and PBS. Tom’s career started at Silver Cup Studios as a production assistant for popular HBO series Sex and the City and The Sopranos.