NTPA announces Deaf theatre company, first in DFW

NTPA's Deaf Theatre participants. Photo provided by NTPA.
NTPA has announced the first production of its inaugural Deaf theatre company, which also hosts youth camps for Deaf children and siblings.

North Texas Performing Arts Academy announced the inaugural production of its NTPA Deaf Theatre, which started in the summer of 2022.

“We are committed to providing the opportunity for those in Deaf community to take the stage,” says NTPA Chief Executive Office Darrell Rodenbaugh. “We believe NTPA’s support combined with the program leadership, independence and the unique perspective of this powerful NTPA Deaf Theatre Board of Directors will make this one of the leading Deaf Theatre programs in the country.”

The troupe started with a pilot program of theatre camps for youth. Their first full length production Deaf Theatre Showcase: A Union of Hands and Voices, to perform June 30 – July 2 at NTPA’s Willow Bend Center of the Arts.

The production will combine a cast of 33 Deaf and hearing actors as young as 8 years old in a revue inspired by Broadway hits.

According to NTPA, the showcase will highlight the diverse culture of the Deaf, styles of Deaf theater and passion for the inclusive art form, with actors sharing life experiences following scenes of varying styles.

“Bringing live theatre to the Deaf community in North Texas has long been a dream of many members of our board,” says Lisa McLerory, chairperson of the NTPA Deaf Theatre Board. “Every member of our board is part of the Deaf community, either by being Deaf themselves or by being a parent of a Deaf child. We are passionate about the inclusivity of the Deaf community in the arts, and are thrilled to take this first step in making the arts more accessible in DFW.”

NTPA Deaf Theatre is also offering a youth camp this summer tied to the showcase that is open to youth in grades 1-12 who are Deaf and their siblings. Campers will participate in musical-themed activities centered around one of the core musical scenes in the show Annie! and including stage tours, set design, assistive technological trials and costume/lighting/stage sound overviews.

The camp will run June 26-30 and includes free tickets to the showcase. Limited spots and scholarships are available.

Tickets to the showcase are $12 in advance or $14 starting June 26.

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