WINNER – 1980 Tony Award, Best Play
WINNER – 1981 Laurence Olivier Award, Best New Play
WINNER – 1980 Drama Desk Award, Outstanding New Play
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.
"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." – The New York 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." – The New York Post
"…an authentic work of art." – The New Yorker
Children of a Lesser God premiered on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre in March of 1980 under the direction of Gardon Davidson, following a successful run at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.