Deaf News: Deaf theatre company’s production of Spring Awakening makes splash on Broadway

Posted on September 30, 2015

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A Deaf theatre company’s production of Spring Awakening, which features both Deaf and hearing performers, including Deaf Oscar winner Marlee Matlin, has made a splash on Broadway.

You can see a subtitled ASL video from the premiere at the Deaf Nation website, by clicking here.

Extract from Variety:

For nearly a quarter century, Deaf West Theatre has been pioneering opportunities for deaf actors and audiences to share theater experiences, incorporating sign language and projected text directly into stagings of popular plays and, yes, musicals. With “Spring Awakening,” which marks the North Hollywood-based theater company’s second majorBroadway transfer (following 2003’s “Big River”), the company goes as far as to incorporate the deaf dimension into the plot of the hit musical, transforming a show about the explosive consequences of denying sex ed to a conservative late-19th-century German community into a critique of deaf education policy at the same time.

As such, Deaf West awakens something new in the show, which is not so much a revival as it is a reinvention — although for the next 15 weeks of its limited run at the Brooks Atkinson Theater, the house should remain nearly packed with those happy to find the Duncan Sheik-scored rock opera back on Broadway in any form. Deaf performers “sing” via sign language, their graceful hand movements (choreographed by Spencer Liff) a natural extension of Bill T. Jones’ original choreography, while a handful of gifted young vocalists belt their lines from the shadows.

Read the full Variety article here: http://variety.com/2015/legit/reviews/spring-awakening-review-deaf-west-broadway-1201603519/

 

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