Children of a Lesser God

By Mark Medoff

Na Laga'at Theatre
Jaffa, Israel

2018

The NLG Theater is proud to present its adaptation to the renowned 1980’s play “Children of a Lesser God” by Mark Medoff feat deaf and hearing actor ensemble. Starting his new job an instructor at a New England school for the deaf ,James Leeds, meets Sarah Norman, a young deaf woman who works at the school as a member of the custodial staff. A romance slowly develops between the pair in spite of Sarah’s withdrawn emotional state due in part to her difficult relationship with her mother.

CREDITS

Translated by: Ido Ricklin

Directed by: Noam Shmuel

Music: Eyall Weiss

Set Design: Natasha Tuchman

Movement: Mor Leedor

Lighting Design: Ziv Voloshin

Costume Design: Aviah Bash

Assistant Director: Noa Yanai

Photos: Avi Levy

CAST

Larisa Feldman

Yosef Kleiner

Brynie Furstenberg

Nadav Nir

Nina Kotler

El-ad Cohen

Heike Kiss

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A Force of Change


The 2018 Broadway revival of Mark Medoff’s 1979 Tony Award-winning drama Children of a Lesser God ended its run last May. Luckily for those in Israel, an adaptation of the play is enjoying a run in Jaffa at Nalaga’at, a unique theater ensemble composed of deaf and blind actors. The play was and is still significant for having deaf performers in a play geared to the non-deaf. The hearing audience is served both by subtitles projected above the spare, modular stage set, and by James interpreting for Sarah and other signers.Today’s Nalaga’at production, presented in spoken Hebrew and Israeli Sign Language (ISL), also deals with these themes but with 40 years’ worth of distance, during which time much has changed.

Forty years ago, Children of a Lesser God could not have been presented in a venue like Nalaga’at because none existed.

The play portrays a world divided by cultures into hearing and non-hearing. Nalaga’at, whose name in Hebrew means “Please Touch,” aims at fostering understanding by bringing them together in a unique, nonprofit center of culture and arts that serves as a meeting place for deaf, blind, deaf-blind and the general public.

Located in the refurbished Old Jaffa Port, the center also includes two experiential restaurants: Kapish, staffed by deaf and hearing-impaired waiters; and BlackOut, where blind and vision-impaired waiters accompany the guests to a meal in total darkness. Since opening in 2007, Nalaga’at has hosted some 800,000 visitors.


Rachel Neiman, Israel 21C