Na Laga’at نا لاجاعات נא לגעת
Imagine that you are an actress and a director. You are asked to teach a drama class for a social club in Jaffa (Joppa), a suburb of Tel Aviv. Now imagine that the social club is for Deaf-blind people. That is what happened to Adina Tal in 2002. A commitment to teach a workshop for a few months turned into years. She is now the president of Na Laga’at, the world’s first Deaf-blind theatre company.
There are some challenges with Deaf-blind actors. Each actor has an interpreter. The actors can neither see nor hear the other actors.
There are some benefits to working with Deaf-blind actors. Adina Tel says,
“Because they can’t see each other, they can’t imitate each other. So everything they do is completely unique. If you ask them to mime eating grapes, you get 11 entirely different ways of eating grapes. That wouldn’t happen with seeing actors. They can’t be like anyone else. None of them has ever seen Marlon Brando or Al Pacino act. They can’t copy. That’s why they are great.” – http://www.jpost.com/LifeStyle/Do-Touch-Worlds-first-deaf-blind-acting-group-in-Jaffa
In the play Not by Bread Alone the actors make bread during the show which the audience gets to enjoy at the end of the play. The play is a mixture of real life scenes and the fantasies, hopes and dreams of the actors. Bread is not enough, they need communication and contact with other people.
There are several varieties of communication used with the actors. Itzik Hanuna was born blind and became deaf at age 11. Interpreters and other actors communicate with him using glove language, in which the Hebrew alphabet is spelled out on knuckles. However, with other actors finger spelling is done on the palm of the hand.
Some communicate with Israeli SL and some with Russian SL.
For more information see http://nalagaat.org.il/en/theater-2/not-by-bread-alone/.