ASL for Spring Awakening Tony Performance Was Censored By CBS

Tony Awards   ASL for Spring Awakening Tony Performance Was Censored By CBS
Though the cast members of Spring Awakening were able to sing about “The Bitch of Living,” Andy Mientus explained that some of the American Sign Language was changed because it was too “hot for TV.”
Spring Awakening Deaf West HR
The Cast of Deaf West Theater's production of Spring Awakening Joan Marcus

The cast of the Tony Award-nominated Best Revival Spring Awakening performed “Mama Who Bore Me” and “The Bitch of Living” on the 2016 Tony Awards, but some of the American Sign Language had to be changed to be shown on television.

“I’m a little nervous,” Spring Awakening actor Andy Mientus admitted on the Tony Awards red carpet, “because we got some last-minute changes to our ASL from the network. All of the English was approved, which was actually changed from the last time they did ‘The Bitch of Living’ on the Tonys—last time they had to change some of the lyrics.”

For the 2007 Tony Awards, lyrics were changed when the original cast of Spring Awakening performed on the Tonys. Click here to watch that performance.

“This time,” said Mientus, “it’s okay [to sing] in 2016, but the signs were a little too hot for TV, so we had to change some of the sign language, which for me, not a native signer, took a lot of practice to hammer out that muscle memory.”

Spring Awakening was able to perform on the Tonys after raising money via a crowd-funding campaign.

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