Radically Reconceived Broadway Spring Awakening Revival Sets Dates; Here's What It Will Look Like

News   Radically Reconceived Broadway Spring Awakening Revival Sets Dates; Here's What It Will Look Like
 
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 engageent, 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 Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, CA, that was co-presented 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:

 

Following that production, composer Sheik said, “Spring Awakening is very much about the difficulty that parents and children have with communication. So there’s a beautiful metaphor to it being done with this particular set of actors. The musicianship and the vocal performances of the Broadway cast being assembled are second to none, and that combined with the amazing physicality of the signing actors really raises the emotional bar.”

“I couldn't be more grateful than I am to Deaf West, Michael, and Ken,” lyricist-librettist Sater said. “It will surely be one of the thrills of my life to watch our young cast sing to New York, every night, in this pure language of the heart.” An Equity casting notice says the producers are seeking hearing and hard-of-hearing actors who sing, for roles including principals and ensemble. Auditions have been scheduled for July 8-10 in New York. A detailed breakdown lists Melchior, Wendla, Moritz and other roles as being up for casting.

"These people were silenced and sterilized, and if you were deaf but you didn't speak, you were considered a failure and would be institutionalized or worse," Arden told Playbill.com when the production premiered last year. "The source material, Frank Wedekind's play, is a comment more than a regular narrative, and now we're giving that comment more of a specific time and place. So it's actually saying something about a certain time and what was going on in people's lives."

"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.

Patricia Wolff, interim artistic director of The Wallis, said in a statement earlier this spring, “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.” 

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.”

The production had scenic and costume design by Dane Laffrey; lighting design by Ben Stanton; co-sound design by Brian Hsieh and John Nobori; production design by Lucy MacKinnon; and hair and makeup design by Carol F. Doran.

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

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