24-hour musical to benefit deaf children

Participants are shown below from the 24 Hour Musical in 2017 for High School Musical 2 fundraiser. Photo credit: No Limits

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No Limits for deaf children and families seeks to raise funds and awareness through a musical at UCLA on Sunday, Feb. 17 from 8 to 11 p.m.

The annual production is cast, rehearsed, performed and directed by UCLA students. It will be performed within a 24-hour time period. The university students will also be responsible for providing the lighting, costumes, and sound.

A group fundraising campaign has been set up in order to benefit hard-of-hearing or deaf children who are learning to speak.

The Culver City nonprofit group “teaches deaf children the skills to succeed in school and in life,” Dr. Michele Christie, founder, and executive director said.

According to the March of Dimes, nearly 3 in 1,000 babies in the United States are born every year with some type of hearing loss, while other children develop hearing loss due to infections or illnesses.

In 2017, Christie was selected as a CNN Hero — individuals who make extraordinary contributions are honored. She was also given the Humanitarian Award alongside President George W. Bush. No Limits has been featured on Oprah, The Learning Channel, PBS stated Joi Adams, Senior Program Director.

The company offers three 10-week sessions with essential services, such as speech and language therapy, academic tutoring, parent education, and family support. Hearing aids are also available for loan.

“It is the only organization serving deaf children between the ages of three and eighteen at no cost to lower-income families, Adams said. Its programs include educational centers and national theater programs.

The after-school theater program designed by Christie aims to increase confidence and to expand the grammar and vocabulary skills of the children, according to the website. Role-playing and character development assists in creativity and public speaking skills.

No Limits 24 Hour Musical has performed across the country with different cast members, including performances at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and Carnegie Hall.

The children “have the ability to become literate and educated and contribute to the community” and can learn skills which will allow them to attend college and be productive members of society. They “should have an education equal to their hearing peers.”

The suggested donation at the door for the musical is $5. Last year’s attendance exceeded 1,000.

The production will take place at Ackerman Grand Ballroom, UCLA at 308 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles.

Sponsorship opportunities are available at various levels and information about the group fundraising campaign can be found at nolimitsfordeafchildren.org