"Children of a Lesser God" Oscar Winner Marlee Matlin Will Make Broadway Debut in Spring Awakening

News   "Children of a Lesser God" Oscar Winner Marlee Matlin Will Make Broadway Debut in Spring Awakening Marlee Matlin, who won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for "Children of a Lesser God" (the only deaf performer to win the award and, at 21, the youngest to date), has joined the cast of the Broadway revival of Spring Awakening

"It's been 30 years since I had the opportunity to be part of the groundbreaking 'Children of a Lesser God' and I couldn’t be more proud and honored to have been asked to join Deaf West Theatre's innovative revival of Spring Awakening on Broadway," said Matlin, who will play Adult Woman. 

Marlee Matlin
Marlee Matlin

Matlin has written four books, competed on the sixth season of "Dancing with the Stars," and has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. An active advocate for the Deaf community, she is to date the only deaf performer to win an Academy Award for her debut film performance in "Children of a Lesser God" (1986), the first film since the 1926 silent film "You'd Be Surprised" to feature a deaf actor in a major role.

Additional casting will be announced at a later date. 

The creative team includes Dane Laffrey (scenic and costume design), Ben Stanton (lighting design), Gareth Owen (sound design) and Lucy Mackinnon (projection design). New York casting is by Telsey + Company/Craig Burns, CSA, and original casting was by Beth Lipari and Bruce Newberg.

As previously reported, the Tony-winning musical Spring Awakening, a soulful coming-of-age story by Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik that sent shockwaves through Broadway in 2006, has booked Broadway's Brooks Atkinson Theatre. The staging is based on the Deaf West Theatre production that will be performed simultaneously in American Sign Language and spoken English by a cast of 27.

Ken Davenport, Cody Lassen, Hunter Arnold and Deaf West Theatre will produce the revival as a limited engagement, which will begin performances Sept. 8, open Sept. 27 and continue through Jan. 9, 2016. The musical is a coming-of-age story set in 19th century Germany, based on the 1891 play of the same title by Frank Wedekind.

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Tickets are now on sale through Ticketmaster or by calling (877) 250-2929. The Atkinson box office will open Monday, Aug. 17.

The revival will be a Broadway transfer of the recent production at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, CA, that was co-produced by the Los Angeles-based Deaf West Theatre and Forest Of Arden, whose founder, Michael Arden, directed with choreography by Spencer Liff. It was first presented in L.A. at Inner-City Arts.

Watch a clip from that production:

 

 

"The Word of Your Body" is Reborn in Deaf West's Spring Awakening

Spring Awakening earned the Tony Award as Best Musical in 2007, and launched the careers of Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff.

Original Spring Awakening Broadway Cast Looks Back With Memories and Over 100 Exclusive Never-Before-Seen Photos!

Deaf West Theatre is best known outside its home base for the Tony-nominated 2003 revival of Big River that moved to Broadway.

Exclusive Pics! Rehearsals, Sleepovers and Backstage Fun at Deaf West's Spring Awakening

The Annenberg production of Spring Awakening was co-presented by the Wallis, Deaf West Theatre and Cody Lassen for a limited 22-performance engagement May 21-June 7 in the Bram Goldsmith Theater. Directed by Arden with musical direction by Jared Stein and choreography by Liff, the production officially opened May 28.

The original cast of 25 deaf, hard of hearing and hearing actors and musicians included Joey Antonio, Miles Barbee, Jimmy Bellinger, Katie Boeck, Joshua Castille, Julian Comeau, Daniel Durant, Treshelle Edmond, Max Fishman, Sandra Mae Frank, Kathryn Gallagher, Gabrielle Garza, Sean Grandillo, Karla Gutierrez, Joseph Haro, Amelia Hensley, Troy Kotsur, Daniel Marmion, Austin McKenzie, Lauren Patten, Natacha Roi, Rustin Cole Sailors, Daniel David Stewart, Ali Stroker and Alexandra Winter.

The production was developed and previously workshopped with Deaf West by Arden and Andy Mientus.

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