Last week, eleven deaf-blind actors of Tel Aviv’s Nalaga’at Center performed the international hit, “Not By Bread Alone,” at New York University.
In the length of time it takes to make a loaf of bread, the actors gave the audience a glimpse of what it’s like to live in a dark and silent world.
Nalaga’at is a center for artistic and cultural expression for the deaf, blind, and deaf-blind. Founded in 2002, it provides artistic and vocational training. It facilitates interactions between the deaf, blind, and individuals without sensory impairments.
The center features Blackout, which is a restaurant that serves patrons in pitch black. Moreover, the wait staff is comprised of blind individuals.
Dough and Dreams
“Not By Bread Alone” debuted in London and South Korea. The New York City tour ran from January 16 to February 3 at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.
The play, which unveils the dreams and joys of its actors through the process of breadmaking, explores different methods of communication. The title of the play, “Not By Bread Alone [does man live],” succinctly captures the idea that there are many ways to live. Likewise, the play makes the statement that you don’t need to be hearing or seeing to participate in this physical world.
One of the most fascinating parts of the performance is the incorporation of sound in an artistic way.
The beat of a drum plays periodically throughout the performance, signaling a new act. While the actors cannot hear or see the drum, they can sense its vibrations. They learned to feel vibrations as they move through the air.
Nalaga’at, which means “please touch” in Hebrew, is a sign language workshop. The workshop is run by deaf instructors.
Besides its educational value, the workshop gives participants a greater appreciation for the world of the deaf.
The hearing impaired can browse discreet and designer hearing aids on www.audicus.com.