The Tuba Thieves

  • The palm side of a pair of hands with fingers spread
  • A woman of color standing in front of a wall of greenery, looking straight ahead
  • 2 people, the profile on one in the foreground, with another blowing a tuba behind.

Filmmaker Alison O’Daniel in person, in conversation with Jim Lebrecht after the film!

Deaf filmmaker Alison O’Daniel came across a news report about the unsolved theft of tubas at a number of Los Angeles high schools. She wondered how the students would be able to practice without an instrument. This became the starting point for a visual poem about how people across the deafness spectrum experience sound.

The Tuba Thieves does not only tell the story of the theft, but uses the event as a central thread for an associative tour of a city filled with sound. We see the impact of aircraft noise on residents, and how instruments can connect hearing and deaf musicians. We become part of a world where sound and silence are reframed for all audiences.

The Tuba Thieves features open captions and audio description. The introduction and the  Q&A will have ASL interpretation.

If you would like to request special accommodations, please reach out to Learn more about accessibility at The Roxie, here.

 Balloons will also be available to audience members who wish to feel the film’s soundtrack.

1h 32m
Alison O’Daniel
American Sign Language, English & Spanish
First Showing
May 5, 2024
  • Assisted Listening
  • Open Caption
  • Audio Description