Deaf West Theatre's Spring Awakening, Directed by Michael Arden, Will Live On

News   Deaf West Theatre's Spring Awakening, Directed by Michael Arden, Will Live On
 
The critically acclaimed Deaf West Theatre immersive production of the Tony-winning Spring Awakening — performed simultaneously this past September in American Sign Language and spoken English — will be presented this spring at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills.

A scene from <i>Spring Awakening</i>
A scene from Spring Awakening Photo by Tate Tullier

Co-presented by the Wallis, Deaf West Theatre and Cody Lassen, the limited 22-performance engagement is scheduled for May 21-June 7 in the Bram Goldsmith Theater.

Directed by Michael Arden with musical direction by Jared Stein and choreography by Spencer Liff, the production will officially open May 28.

Casting will be announced at a later date.

Patricia Wolff, interim artistic director of The Wallis, said in a statement, “We are thrilled to welcome to The Wallis Los Angeles’ own Tony-winning Deaf West Theatre, and to share the creativity and joyousness of this brilliant and utterly original production with a broader audience. In Spring Awakening, American Sign Language is not just incorporated but actually choreographed into this emotionally charged musical, creating an organic and beautifully theatrical metaphor, ultimately expanding the theme of adolescent struggle to one that also celebrates the universal human need for communication and connection."


Deaf West Theatre artistic director David J. Kurs added, “We are thrilled to be able to bring our patrons another opportunity to see our unique, mesmerizing production of Spring Awakening.  Bringing this production to a bigger stage allows us to bring our show closer to our original vision, including new scenic and projection design elements.”  Read the Playbill.com feature: "The Word of Your Body" is Reborn in Deaf West's Spring Awakening

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 mix of sign language and choreography performed by this amazing young cast brings the songs to life in a completely new way,” said director Arden in an earlier statement. “It’s our hope that this reimagining will kindle a new connection between the hearing and deaf communities.”

Spring Awakening features book and lyrics by Steven Sater and music by Duncan Sheik. Based on Frank Wedekind’s controversial 1891 expressionist play of the same name, the musical, according to press notes, "follows the lives of a group of adolescents as they navigate their entry into sexual awareness."

The production had scenic and costume design by Dane Laffrey and Christopher Scott Murillo; lighting design by Travis Hagenbuch; sound design by Philip G. Allen; and hair design by Carol Doran. ASL Masters are Anthony Natale, Elizabeth Greene and Shoshannah Stern.

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

Tickets for the upcoming engagement are $19-$99 and are available at www.thewallis.org or by calling (310) 746-4000 or in person at The Wallis Ticket Services located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA.

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