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

National Theatre of the Deaf's

Board of Trustees

These board members dedicate their time and expertise towards managing the organization.

Dr. Harvey Corson

Board Chair

Chair, Education & Legislative Committee and Past President, Connecticut Association of the Deaf; President, Connecticut Retirement Community; Representative Member (NTD), Connecticut Council of Organizations Serving the Deaf; Board Member, Pennsylvania School for the Deaf Board of Trustees; Former Team Member, Connecticut Coalition on Education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children; Former Board Member, CT Department of Rehabilitation Services Advisory Board on Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services; Former Board Member, CT Office of Protection & Advocacy for Persons who are Disabled.

James Pederson

Vice Chair/Treasurer

Treasurer, Connecticut Retirement Community; Investment Officer, Greater Hartford Club of the Deaf; Representative Member (CRC) & Former President, Connecticut Council of Organizations Serving the Deaf; Former Treasurer, Connecticut Association for the Deaf.

Joan Hanna


Former Teacher, American School for the Deaf; Volunteer Advisor, ASD Drama Club; Secretary/Treasurer, Sound-Off Theatre; Chair, CT Sprint Relay Advisory Board; Vice President, Sign Language Instructors Pool; Representative Member (ALDA), Connecticut Council of Organizations Serving the Deaf; Former East Coast Regional Director, Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA); Former Program Coordinator, Total Immersion Sign Language Retreat Program; Former Nominations Chair, Connecticut Association of the Deaf; Former Member, Quota International, Candlewood Valley, Danbury, CT.

John Basinger


Actor/Presenter, “King Lear” & John Milton’s “Paradise Lost ”; Former Board President, North End Arts Rising (NEAR) Inc. (The Buttonwood Tree, a performing and cultural arts center in Middletown, CT); Member, Board of Deacons, South Congregational Church, Middletown, CT; Former Actor/Member, NTD Company.
A man with short curly hair poses for the camera wearing a black button-up shirt and dark blazer.

Tyrone Giordano


Facilitator, Deaf Theatre Planning Action Session via Howlround at Emerson College, March 2019; Conspirator, Dog & Pony D.C.; Assistant Director, Shakespeare First Folio! Tour Stop at Gallaudet University 2015-16; Adjunct Professor, ASL/Deaf Studies/Translation, Gallaudet University, 2012-2014; Teaching Instructor (Adjunct Faculty), Deaf Studies Program, California State University, Northridge, 2006–2012; Outreach/Program Coordinator/Writer/Workshop Coordinator/ Associate Director, Deaf West Theatre, 2004-2011.

Gary Greco


Sign Language Interpreter; Former Program Coordinator, Deaf & Hard of Hearing Program/ Deaf Studies/Interpreter Training Program, Northwestern Connecticut Community College, Former Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, CT Bureau of Rehabilitation Services; Former Member of Connecticut Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.