The Arty Semite

Adina Tal Speaks An International Language

By Simi Horwitz

Courtesy of Nalag'at Center

As the audience files into NYU’s Skirball Center the deaf-blind actors are already on stage kneading dough. Throughout “Not by Bread Alone,” they are preparing bread for themselves and theatergoers who at the end of the performance will join the actors on stage and share the bread with them. Interspersed with the preparation—and as the sweet smell of baking fills the house — relationships between bakers are explored, daily life is lived, and dreams revealed.

A few of the actors speak, but mostly they communicate with each other through touch sign language and “translators,” who help with inter-communication, while serving as guides, steering the actors across the stage.

The 11 performers who comprise Tel Aviv’s Nalag’at (meaning “do touch”) are afflicted with Usher Syndrome, meaning they were born deaf or became deaf shortly thereafter and ultimately went blind. During its 13 year existence the company has garnered an international reputation for its ground-breaking theater that has unwittingly forged a new theatrical language. The current New York production marks the company’s American debut.

Founder and artistic director Adina Tal does not allow her troupe to perform in theater festivals that present and celebrate the work of physically or mentally challenged actors. If the latter are producing terrific theater, that’s fine. But disability in and of itself is no bond as far as she’s concerned.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: theater, deafness, blindness, Adina Tal




Find us on Facebook!
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.