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January 21, 2003

"Oh, Figaro!" to be presented at SIUE

From: Edwardsville Intelligencer, IL - 21 Jan 2003

Zhanda Malone, Of the Intelligencer January 21, 2003
National Theatre of the Deaf will visit.

Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the National Theatre of the Deaf will present its new comedy, "Oh, Figaro!" as part of SIUE's Arts & Issues series on Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the Dunham Hall Theater.

"The National Theatre of the Deaf is one of the most remarkable theater companies that audiences will ever experience," said John Peecher, assistant director of development for the College of Arts and Sciences and coordinator of the Arts & Issues series.

"It is accessible -- and enjoyable -- theater for everyone."

The National Theatre of the Deaf's (NTD) professional acting company is made up of both deaf and hearing artists working together as an ensemble.

The audience sees and hears every word through the NTD's signature performance style, combining American Sign Language and the spoken word.

This unique double-sensory experience has expanded the boundaries of theatrical expression.

Founded in Connecticut in 1967, NTD is the oldest continually producing and touring theater company in the United States.

It was the first theater company to perform in all 50 states, and has toured to all seven continents and to 32 countries.

In addition to being the recipient of the prestigious Tony Award for theatrical excellence, NTD has long served as an artistic ambassador for the United States. The National Theatre of the Deaf has staged more than 8,000 live performances as part of 95 national and international tours.

These performances have reached over 3.5 million people, along with millions more through award-winning television specials.

Among the artists who have lent their talents to NTD are John Lithgow, Marcel Marceau, Colleen Dewhurst, Jason Robards, Sir Michael Redgrave, Chita Rivera, Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn, and Mary Martin. The company has adapted classic and contemporary works from Shakespeare and Voltaire to Ogden Nash, Dylan Thomas and Shel Silverstein. Additionally, NTD has adapted and produced numerous original works by new deaf and hearing playwrights.

Their latest production -- which will be performed at SIUE -- is the rollicking comedy, "Oh, Figaro!" based on the Pierre de Beaumarchais classic French farces "The Barber of Seville" and "The Marriage of Figaro." These ageless tales have been immortalized in operas by Mozart and Rossini, and now enter the 21st century in this newly commissioned work adapted by veteran stage writers John Augustine and Willy Conley.

Following the National Theatre of the Deaf's appearance on the 2002-2003 Arts & Issues series is public health advocate and former surgeon general under the Clinton Administration, David Satcher, who will speak on "Politics, Opinions and Public Health," on Feb. 11. Gloria Steinem -- feminist, writer, and co-founder of Ms. magazine -- addresses "What You've Always Wanted to Know About Feminism and Been Afraid to Ask" on March 19. The world-renowned Takacs Quartet comes to SIUE on March 27, for an evening of Hayden and Beethoven, and Helen Thomas -- a fixture of the White House pressroom for more than 40 years -- concludes the season on April 8, offering her "Wit and Wisdom From the Front Row at the White House."

Tickets for the National Theatre of the Deaf's presentation of "Oh, Figaro!" are $16; SIUE students, $8. For ticket information, call 650-2626, or, from St. Louis toll-free, 888-328-5168, ext. 2626; visit the series' Web site at; write: Arts & Issues, SIUE, Campus Box 1608, Edwardsville, IL 62026; or e-mail Admission includes free parking in the lots behind the Morris University Center or Katherine Dunham Hall.

©Edwardsville Intelligencer 2003