Skip to main content

Lights On! Deaf Theatre records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITDSA-0002

Scope and Contents

The Lights On! Deaf Theatre records include a variety of materials related to the grassroots theater group. Each major production is thoroughly represented in the collection with items such as photographs, news articles, playbills, correspondence, schedules, rehearsal reports, props and floors plans, scripts, production notes, evaluations, fundraising records, budget plans, and wrap-up notes. In addition, the collection includes posters for most of the productions, as well as some materials for smaller productions.

The collection also contains a series of administrative documents, including organization by-laws, meeting minutes, correspondence, budgeting materials, production checklists, activities summaries, and grant information. The correspondence consists mostly of communications between Lights On! and playwrights, as well as thank you notices to contributors.

Finally, the collection includes newsletters from the organization and copies of Deaf Rochester (Silent News) from 1995-2001. There is also a group of oversize posters, miscellaneous photographs, and video recordings of productions and events.


  • Creation: 1991-2001
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1992 - 1993


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Lights On! Deaf Theatre was founded in 1991 as a grassroots theater company specifically for deaf people. The organization was formed by John Blevins, Patti Durr, and Dan Houlihan to provide deaf people with the opportunity to participate in all aspects of theater production, including writing, acting, and directing. Additionally, the organization hoped to educate hearing people in the Rochester area on the deaf community, by allowing them to "observe and appreciate deaf culture through theatrical events." The first production performed by the company was "Tales from a Clubroom," written by Bernard Bragg and Eugene Bergman, and directed by Patrick Graybill. In 1993, Lights On! was awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to continue its operation, while targeting deaf and hard-of-hearing children and youth.


7.75 Linear Feet (5 document boxes, 9 half document boxes, 2 lid boxes)




Documents related to the Lights On! Deaf Theatre group, a Rochester based organization dedicated to deaf theater. The collection contains administrative documents for the organization, such as bylaws, meeting minutes, and budgeting materials, as well as newsletters and correspondence. Also included are scripts and materials related to each production, such as playbills, schedules, floor plans, production notes, photographs, and video recordings.


The first portion of the collection includes materials related to specific productions. These items are arranged by production with each of the major shows' materials housed within its own box. This is followed by a series of scripts, and then administrative documents including organization newsletters and Deaf Rochester (Silent News). Production posters are contained within a single oversize box, while the video tapes and miscellaneous photographs are located at the end of the collection.

Physical Location

C.S. Mid-Range, Shelf 329 - Box 1-10; Shelf 331 - Oversize box; Shelf 335 - Box 11-15

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 06:28; 10:36

A majority of the collection was a gift from Lights on! Theatre Company in 2006.

Portions of the collection were given to RIT Archive Collections by Joan Naturale (RIT Librarian) in 2010.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in November 2010

Lights On! Deaf Theatre records
RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive
Lara Nicosia
05 November 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • December 2020: multilevel description added from inventory by Gigi Ye

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA