12 April 2016
By Tom O’Sullivan
Take 5 Drama Group return to the Cork Arts Theatre from Thursday 14th to Saturday 16th April at 8pm with Mark Medoff’s award-winning play, ‘Children of a Lesser God’ due to popular demand, and following considerable success and acclaim on the drama circuit.
This compelling play has had a special place in director Noelle Clarke’s heart for many years having first seen the play when she was 15. This beautifully written play demands a fusion of hearing and deaf actors to authenticate the writer’s intention to portray a love story between a young deaf girl and a male teacher at a school for the deaf.
The play follows Sarah Norman, a young deaf woman who works at the school as a maid and newly arrived instructor, James Leeds. James, in his capacity as a speech therapist, tries to help Sarah, who is totally deaf from birth, to learn to lip read and speak but she is a very reluctant student. As their relationship grows it soon becomes evident that the chasm between their worlds of sound and silence are sometimes too great to cross but it’s the love and compassion that hold the hope of a deeper understanding of their differences.
Ms. Clarke explained the lengths the cast and production team went to in order to tackle this challenging play, “For this production we have cast a young girl, Sarah Jacob, who has been deaf from birth, to play the role of Sarah Norman. Her dedication and commitment to the role has been amazing and she, along with Nick O’Halloran (also deaf), have instructed the other actors in the sign language they needed for their individual roles. This has been a huge undertaking for each member of the cast; not only have they learned to establish a believable character, they have also learned an entirely new language. Working with these actors has been inspiring and the entire process has been exceptionally rewarding for everyone involved.”
She went on to say, “This production has allowed members/actors within the deaf community and hearing actors to work together when they might not otherwise have had the opportunity. It has allowed the actors, most of whom are of the hearing community, the opportunity to learn skills to communicate with the deaf and will, we hope, strive to heighten public awareness of some of the difficulties faced by the deaf community on an ongoing basis.”
Tickets are priced at €15 and bookings can be made by phoning the Cork Arts Theatre box office at 021 450 5624 or by calling in person to the Carroll’s Quay venue Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm. Full details on www.corkartstheatre.com