The HeArd to interpret “The Elephant Man” performance on Sunday, March 6

Fine Arts,

The Sunday, Mar. 6, performance of Rabbit Run Theater and Lake Erie College’s production of “The Elephant Man” will be interpreted by The HeArd.

The HeArd, a program of Theatrical Interpreting Services of Cleveland, Inc. (TISC, Inc.), is a body of professional sign language interpreters who provide high-quality creative sign language interpretation to the public performing arts of Northeast Ohio.

TISC, Inc. is dedicated to advocating for deaf and hard of hearing audience members through the provision of sign language interpreting services and the education of performing arts organizations and sign language students to the specific needs of this culture. 

The HeArd regularly provides interpretation for performances at Playhouse Square, Great Lakes Theater, Near West Theatre, Fine Arts Association as well as other theaters in Northeast Ohio.

The Sunday, Mar. 6, performance with interpretation will begin at 2:00 p.m.

Bernard Pomerance’s drama “The Elephant Man” opens Friday, Feb. 26 at Lake Erie College’s C.K. Rickel Theatre. This show is the third production in The Studio Series, a four-part collaborative theatrical season between Rabbit Run Community Arts Association (RRCAA) and Lake Erie College. The Studio Series is funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and an additional grant from the Lake County Visitors Bureau.  

“One of the goals of the collaboration between Lake Erie College and Rabbit Run,” said Brint Learned, executive director of RRCAA, “is to encourage a diverse audience to participate in our theatrical events. We are thrilled to partner with the talented theatrical interpreters from The HeArd to share this touching and insightful production.”

 “The Elephant Man,” directed by Learned, is based on the life of Joseph Merrick and explores Merrick’s struggles to lead a normal life in the face of severe physical deformity, due to a rare skin and bone disease. 

The show is set in Victorian London, where Merrick is exploited as a freak in a traveling sideshow and eventually left destitute in London. Dr. Frederick Treves takes an interest in Merrick and agrees to take care of him. Merrick quickly becomes a favorite among the British elite, but it is an acceptance that comes with a heavy price. 

The Elephant Man” runs Feb. 26, 27 and Mar. 3, 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 28 and Mar. 6 at 2:00 p.m. in the C.K. Rickel Theatre in Royce Hall for the Fine and Performing Arts off of Gillett St. on the Lake Erie College campus, 391 W. Washington St., Painesville, OH.

On Saturday, Mar. 5, guests may add on a pre-show stop at the Steele Mansion in Painesville. A sit down dinner featuring recipes that were popular with the social elite in 19th century England will be served followed by a self-guided tour of the mansion. A cash bar will be available. Doors open at 5:00 p.m., and dinner will be served at 5:45 p.m. Tickets including dinner and the show and are $58/person. Reservations are required for this event and may be made at

The Steele Mansion is located at 348 Mentor Ave., directly across from Lake Erie College.

Tickets for “The Elephant Man” are $15 for adults and $13 for seniors. Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance at Lake Erie College students, faculty and staff are admitted free of charge. All seats are general seating. Parking is free.

“The Elephant Man” is made possible in part by funding through the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lake County Visitors Bureau, the Ohio Arts Council and ideastream.

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