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 Susan Thompson-Gaines

david Gaines and Susan Thomson-Gaines CPDP 008 repro.jpg

Susan Thompson-Gaines and her husband David live in a wonderfully diverse community in South Arlington, Virginia, where they have resided since 2000. Their home is fondly recognized by the community as “The Big Yellow House " or "Kindness House", depending on who you ask.  Located on a busy corner, this house has become an inspiring place to many, as it is the gathering spot for acts of kindness, acceptance, and celebration. 


Susan, the youngest of three sisters, grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. At the age of 20 she joined “Sunshine, Too,” a theatre troupe based at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. This gave her the rich experience of performing and traveling throughout the United States. The work also gave her the life-changing opportunity to learn a language that would launch a new career path – American Sign Language (ASL). 


Susan returned to college and studied to become an ASL interpreter. She holds NIC Advanced certification from the Registration of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) and has been working in the field since 1994.

Her partner David is a performer, director, and teacher.  He has travelled the world performing, first with the London based troupe "Moving Picture Mime Show", then with his award winning one-man shows "7 (x 1) Samurai" and "Little Business at the Big Top. David's unique style of movement theatre bridges language differences and entertains fans of all ages.  His work can be seen at


Susan had a big “ah ha” moment about life in 2001 when she was helping to care for her mother who was dying of colon cancer at age 65. This experience made Susan realize how truly short our time on earth is, and the importance of savoring every moment of it.  So, she decided to stop spending all her days in an office or stuck in traffic and start focusing on life: That formula meant: working three days a week and living out her REAL life the other four days.  


This shift in focus meant more time for walks, world travel, museums and theatre and other things she loves. Susan and David try to escape as often as possible to their vacation home in Ormond Beach, Florida so they can feed the sea birds, swim in the salty water, and breathe in the sea air.

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