Sacramento Theatre Company has teamed up with Los Angeles' Deaf West Theatre Company for a sing language production of Lyle Kessler's Orphans, running on Stage Two at the Sacramento Theatre Company through June 8.
"We are excited to be doing something no other regional theatre is doing," says Sacramento's artistic director Stephen Rothman. The idea to have an all sign language show translated live over headset for hearing audiences came from Rothman's incredibly powerful experiences directing Of Mice and Men at Deaf West in 1995.
"We want to reach out to deaf actors and theatregoers whose needs and talents have been largely ignored by the American entertainment industry," Rothman continues," and at the same time enrich the lives of the hearing patrons by sharing the beauty of American Sign Language and the incredible talent of three brilliant actors."
Orphans follows a dark story about two orphan brothers who have basically lived in isolation until their lives cross paths with a gangster on the run. Chuck Baird, Troy Michael Kotsur and Joseph Dean Anderson will sign their roles, while the text will be translated for hearing audiences by Sacramento actors James C. Anderson, John Davis Rambo, and John Crabtree Ireland.
Orphans was originally produced at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles in 1983, and was subsequently directed at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre by Gary Sinise. Last year's production at Deaf West Theatre in Los Angeles received three Drama-Logue Awards, including Best Director, and Best Ensemble. For tickets or more information, please call (916) 443-6722, or refer to the Sacramento Theatre Company regional listing on Playbill On-Line.
--By Blair Glaser