International Center on Deafness and the Arts through Education
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Centerlight Family Theatre
CenterLight Family Theatre

CenterLight Family Theatre is the only theatre of its kind in the Midwest to produce major productions each season using Sign Language and Spoken English simultaneously.  CenterLight gives people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Hearing the opportunity to develop their skills and display their talents.  The Deaf community is able to experience and enjoy live theatre in their own language, while the hearing community experiences a unique form of entertainment.  

Our theatre exposes hearing members of the audience to sign language and deaf performance styles and gives Deaf audience members the opportunity to see a play performed in their own language - not just interpreted from the side of a room.  Other theatres may have a sign language interpreter on or near the stage during the performance, which can take the focus away from the action. The actors at CenterLight tell the story themselves through the integrated use of American Sign Language and spoken English.

Our lead actors, who are deaf and hard of hearing, choreograph sign language interpretations of lyrics and dialogue into their acting. The hearing actors serve as each role's counterpart by providing voices from the wings or on stage as a peripheral character.  

Located in Northbrook, IL, CenterLight Theatre is easy to get to from neighboring communities or Chicago.

Currently, ICODA is looking for a new home.  We are excited about the prospect of having our own 500 seat Theatre which will feature the latest technology to help make the theatre experience enjoyable for all!  In the meantime, CenterLight Family Theatre produces two major family musicals per year with the goal of expanding the program when our new theatre is established.  Interested in finding out how you can help?  Sign up as a volunteer, make an on-line donation or simply put yourself on our mailing list and help us spread the word. 

For more information please contact Christine Strejc at or 847-509-8260 ext.234.

In order to purchase tickets for our current production call our box office at 224-632-0021 (Voice or text message).

Comments from former participants and teachers:

“In all honesty if there was no ICODA I wouldn’t be in this profession that I am today.  I would not be an actor.  ICODA was available to help transform me into the person that I am today.”
~ Marlee Matlin, Academy Award Winner

“You can imagine the feelings of reward I feel as a teacher when you see a student whom you have worked with receiving and Academy Award!”
Bernard Bragg, Co-founder of the National Theater of the Deaf

“I have this dream where I would establish a theater in the image of ICODA in my community. I want to be able to provide a home away from home for deaf children and to teach them to believe in themselves.  I feel that ICODA has a lot to do with who I am today and what I long to do in the future.”
Abbey Roin-Thigpen, Teacher of the Deaf

Example of one of our performances

"Prologue" West Side Story - 2010

614 Anthony Trail, Northbrook, IL 60062

Phone: 847-509-8260

Fax: 847-509-8157

TTY: 847-509-8257