Children of a Lesser God Paperback – 1 Mar 1982
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"... a riveting piece of drama ... I can't recall any other play that makes it so clear that the so-called handicapped have their own code, their own ethos, their own pride." -- Michael Billington, The Guardian
...Medoff's writing often rises beyond the well-made, particularly in his no-nonsense approach to the less palatable facts of his subject... -- Steve Grant, Time Out
...a complex and beautiful play... -- Milton Shulman, Standard
...a riveting piece of drama... -- Michael Billington, The Guardian
...stunning... -- Michael Coveney, Financial Times
...the play gives you an insight into deafness you've probably never experienced before. -- Sue Jameson, London Broadcasting
I was enthralled by this unusual love story. -- John Barber, Daily Telegraph
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Top Customer Reviews
I first noticed Children of a Lesser God movie when I was in my early youth, as I'm deaf actress and I'm look for an audition as I remember about this old movie. In the script of Children of a Lesser God was so difference from the movie BUT it's still very good play I've ever read it. I can feel so same as Sarah Norman's character experience. (Not now - I'm decision to use my voice for my career's sake!!)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The story centers on the relationship between hearing James Leeds and deaf Sarah Norman, the former a teacher, the later a defiant woman who declines to communicate in any way other than sign language. Initial hostility turns into an affair; the affair turns into a marriage--but in the wake of the marriage the couple is repeatedly torn between the deaf and hearing worlds and Sarah's sudden determination that no one shall speak for her but herself.
CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD, which won an arm-load of Tony Awards, was among the very few non-musical plays that toured extensively in the 1980s. I myself had the opportunity to see one such tour and was startled when a group seated near me walked out on the show. "I thought this was going to be a play about those dear little deaf children!" a woman in the group loudly complained. No, it isn't, and after seeing or reading it you will find it difficult to think about people with hearing disabilities--or any other disability for that matter--in quite the same way. It is powerful stuff.
Many non-theatre people find playscripts difficult to read, and in truth playscripts are a blueprint for directors and actors and not intended as reading material for the general public. This is preface to the very basic statement that some plays "read" well and some do not. I must note that many readers may find it difficult to imagine how it is staged and how the sign language and various translation modes work on stage. It will be a bit of a challenge to some, but even so I strongly recommend it.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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.