101 Stories: National Theatre of the Deaf

By The Children's Theatre

Celebrate TCT’s 101st season as it comes to a close as we applaud and appreciate those who contributed to the organization’s magic throughout our century-long journey.  During 10 weeks of recognition, we honor individuals who have been instrumental in the success of TCT, and who have not only helped TCT grow in mission, but also thrive, thanks to their passion.  It is these people and their moments in our history that shaped TCT to become what it is today. We encourage you to consider giving a gift in their honor to ensure the sustainability of TCT’s mission for the next 100+ years. 

As part of its 2000-01 Season, The Children’s Theatre presented the world premiere of BEETHOVEN BY HEART, which told the inspirational story of the composer who composed some of the greatest music the world has ever known after becoming deaf. The project was co-produced by the National Theatre of the Deaf (NTD) and The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati. NTD traveled to Cincinnati to rehearse and perform in the play. Commissioned by playwright Melanie Marnich, BEETHOVEN BY HEART was interpreted in American Sign Language performed on stage in tandem with the show’s actors. This show inaugurated ongoing interpretation for all future production by The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati. 

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. 

Alexandria Wailes

Alexandria Wailes, NTD Board vice president, says: 

“Children’s Theater is vital to a child’s learning. Through theater, people of all ages, especially young people, learn many interpersonal skills. The theater is the place to find one’s voice. To share, celebrate and interact within a community of people from all walks of life. To build confidence. To stretch imaginations. To create representation so that people audiences see themselves reflected upon the stages.”

Would you honor the National Theatre of the Deaf with a gift to recognize the impact made on TCT?