National Theatre of the Deaf – Connecticut (NTD-CT)
A newly formed Connecticut non-profit entity, The National Theatre of the Deaf – Connecticut (NTD-CT) will provide local, state and regional educational and theatrical programs and activities, including our successful Theater Immersion Program for young high school Deaf & hard of hearing aspiring performing artists. NTD-CT will expand and diversify our programming through local, state, and regional partnerships that cultivate and showcase aspiring and professional Deaf talent.
National Theatre of the Deaf
Since its founding in 1967, NTD has a long and rich history as a proud national and international performing arts organization. NTD pioneered a dual language theatre concept, creating a hybrid of American Sign Language with spoken English that has been seen in all fifty states in the U.S., in thirty-three countries, and on all seven continents throughout the world. NTD has appeared and performed on Broadway, the Disney Channel, on Sesame Street, at the White House, and before luminaries and dignitaries the world over.
National Theatre of the Deaf has a proud international performing arts history.
The acting company is comprised of deaf and hearing actors has touring the nation and the world for over 50 years. Each performance unfolds simultaneously in two languages: for the eye, American Sign Language, and for the ear, the Spoken Word.
Celebrating over 50 years of touring the nation and world, the NTD is the oldest touring company in the United States.
NTD has performed in all fifty states, on all seven continents, thirty-three countries, performed on the Disney Channel, on Sesame Street, at the White House, for royalty the world over, and on Broadway.
NTD was the first company to tour South Africa when sanctions were lifted, first company from the West to tour The People’s Republic of China, represented the USA at the Los Angeles Olympic Arts Festival, performed in Taiwan through the American Cultural Center to represent the United States during the Deaflympics, and received a Tony Award.
The idea for the National Theatre of the Deaf came about through a Broadway production called The Miracle Worker in the late 1950’s. The Miracle Worker was based on the true story of Helen Keller, a girl born deaf and blind.
Audiences were moved when Helen learned to sign and the world of language was opened to her. The star of the show, Anne Bancroft, and the Lighting Designer, David Hays, were captivated by the idea that sign language had a place on the world’s stage as a performing art form.
After the show closed, David Hays continued to pursue this dream and after nearly ten years was able to secure funding from the U.S. Department of Education and launched the National Theatre of the Deaf.
Through power of example and role model, NTD has been instrumental in fostering:
- Removing stigma from Sign Language
- Legitimizing the use of Sign Language on television, stage, and movies
- Popularizing the study of Sign Language
- Providing professional training and employing deaf artists
- Invigorating the entertainment industry to consider and use deaf artists
- Deaf pride of self and culture to all members of the deaf community
The National Theatre of the Deaf Board
Hearing Children; former Board Member, the CT Department of Rehabilitation Services Advisory Board on Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services, former Board Member, the CT Office of Protection & Advocacy for Persons who are Disabled; former President of the Convention of American Instructors of the Deaf; former Vice-President & Board Member of the National Association of the Deaf; former Board Member of the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools & Programs for the Deaf; former President of the PSD Alumni Association; former President of the Metro-Washington, D.C. Association of the Deaf; former President, Washington, D.C. Division #155 of the National Fraternal Society of the Deaf; former President of the Student Body Government at Gallaudet University and former Student Actor performing
the role of Professor Willard in the college play, Our Town, at Gallaudet University.