The Deaf-Blind Acting Ensemble on the Mediterranean Sea

A theater complex in Israel invites audiences into the worlds of those living with disabilities.

Jul 19, 2016
Actors from the Nalaga’at Center

Deaf-blind actors work in perfect and silent coordination on stage, using touch for communication (Facebook)

Situated in the heart of Jaffa’s Port, the Nalaga’at Center (in Hebrew, “please touch”) is a unique nonprofit center of cultural arts and home to one of Israel’s most unconventional and exceptional human experiences. Employing over 70 people, most of whom are deaf, blind, and both deaf and blind, Nalaga’at shares its unique perspective with the outside world through various activities, including pottery and wine-tasting workshops in the dark, pitch-black dining excursions and theater.

The theater's deaf-blind acting ensemble - the only one of its kind in the world - is composed of 11 deaf-blind actors, and in their inspiring production Not By Bread Alone, the playful actors boast a meticulous knack for their craft, both individually and as a team. Working off of vibrations, touch, repetition and above all, each other, Not by Bread Alone profiles each actor, their past histories and their future aspirations. Shows are performed in Hebrew with English and Arabic subtitles.

Since its inception, the Nalaga'at Center has been recognized and praised worldwide for its contribution to raising awareness of the unique talents and skills of those with special needs and the singular dialogue they have established to enable deaf blind people to develop their own voice.

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ELIANNA BAR-EL, CONTRIBUTOR
Elianna has a background in English literature and psychology and works as an editor and freelance wardrobe stylist. She writes on travel, fashion, food and inspiring people.