Panara Theatre

Robert F. Panara Theater, named in honor of Dr. Robert Panara, RIT’s first Deaf professor and founder of the NTID Drama Club, has a rich heritage of offering challenging, entertaining, and provocative works of theater, all created for both Deaf and hearing audiences.

There are many factors to consider that are unique to this form of theater, such as designing costumes and sets that are historically accurate yet provide sightlines and clear background for the sign language to play against; interpreting dialog from the script that is based on sounds; and staging the show so that both the audience and the actors can see each other at all times.


Lyndon B. Johnson Hall, room 1860




400 seats and 9 handicap spaces


Presentations, announcements, musical theatre, dance, music, and theatre

Special Features

Allows production that is equally accessible to Deaf and hearing cast and crew on-stage and backstage, as well as for members of the audience. Has excellent acoustics and state-of-the-art sound system and light capacity.

Notable Guests

  • Mikail Baryishnikov
  • Jane Fonda
  • Louise Fletcher
  • Marlee Matlin
  • National Theatre of the Deaf
  • Phyllis Frelich
  • Bernard Bragg
  • Patrick Graybill
  • Howie Seago
  • Cleveland SignStage
  • Annabelle Gamzon
  • Garth Fagan Dance
  • Hartford Ballet
  • Foreigner
  • Emerson
  • Lake and Palmer
  • Jethro Tull
  • American Deaf Dance Company

Upcoming Performances

National Technical Institute for the Deaf Robert F. Panara Theatre Seating Chart

A seating chart for the Robert F. Panara Theatre