Lessons in Laughter

The Autobiography of a Deaf Actor

By Bernard Bragg
With Eugene Bergman

Categories: Biography / Memoir, Art and Performance
Imprint: Gallaudet University Press
Paperback : 9781563681394, 237 pages, November 2002
Ebook : 9781563682179, 238 pages, October 2009
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To succeed as an actor is a rare feat. To succeed as a deaf actor is nothing short of amazing. Lessons in Laughter is the story of Bernard Bragg and his astonishing lifelong achievements in the performing arts.

Born deaf of deaf parents, Bernard Bragg has won international renown as an actor, director, playwright, and lecturer. Lessons in Laughter recounts in stories that are humorous, painful, touching, and outrageous, the growth of his dream of using the beauty of sign language to act. He starred in his own television show “The Quiet Man,” helped found The National Theatre of the Deaf, and traveled worldwide to teach his acting methods.


Bernard Bragg, former artist-in-residence at Gallaudet University, continues to perform and teach worldwide.

Eugene Bergman is a former associate professor of English at Gallaudet University.



“It is through his deafness that we hear his story.”

— The New York Times Book Review

“His memoir has a universal appeal.”

— Library Journal

“The richness and variety found in signing and in the Deaf culture permeates his montage of stories.”

— Publishers Weekly