Bernard Bragg


When Bernard Bragg graduated from Gallaudet College in 1952, professional opportunities for Deaf performers were virtually nonexistent. He began scoring numerous “firsts.” One was his own TV show, The Quiet Man (1957-1963), becoming the first professional Deaf performer. He has also written and directed, traveled and performed worldwide, and taught. A founding member of the National Theatre of the Deaf (1967), he toured with them for 10 years. He collaborated on a groundbreaking TV-movie, And Your Name is Jonah (1979). He received an honorary doctorate from Gallaudet University in 1988, and published his autobiography, Lessons in Laughter, in 1989. In 1998, he established an endowed chair at Gallaudet, “Deaf People in the Theater Arts,” and in 2006, the “Bernard Bragg Deaf Theatre, Signed Arts and Deaf Cinema Endowment” at CSUN, where he has taught for many years. He also made a similar endowment to NTID. Currently, he's taking his one-man show, “Theatre in the Sky,” on tour to several U.S. cities. All proceeds benefit the NAD and WFD.

Photo courtesy of Bernard Bragg

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