THE STORY: After three years in the Peace Corps, James, a young speech therapist, joins the faculty of a school for the deaf, where he is to teach lip-reading. He meets Sarah, a school dropout, totally deaf from birth, and estranged both from the world of hearing and from those who would compromise to enter that world. Fluent in sign language, James tries, with little success, to help Sarah, but gradually the two fall in love and marry. At first their relationship is a happy and glowing one, as the gulf of silence between them seems to be bridged by their desire to understand each other's needs and feelings, but discord soon develops as Sarah becomes militant for the rights of the deaf and rejects any hint that she is being patronized and pitied. In the end the chasm between the worlds of sound and silence seems almost too great to cross…but love and compassion hold the hope of reconciliation, and a deeper, fuller understanding of differences that, in the final essence, can unite as well as divide.
Winner of the Tony Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award and the Drama Desk Award as best play of the season. A success both on Broadway and at the Mark Taper Forum, in Los Angeles, this deeply moving, beautifully written play details the romance and marriage of a sensitive but spirited deaf girl and the devoted (and hearing) young teacher whom she meets at a school for the deaf. "CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD, in short and in sum, is the season's unexpected find, a play unlike any other and immensely likable in its self-assertion." —NY Times. "CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD is an extraordinary play—illuminating, consistently interesting and moving." —Variety. "In any season this play would be a major event, a play of great importance, absorbing and interesting, full of love, understanding and passion." —NY Post. "…an authentic work of art." —The New Yorker.