Deaf West Theatre's recent Broadway production of Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik’s Spring Awakening, which was nominated for three 2016 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, is more than halfway to its goal of crowd-funding the cost of rehearsing and performing a number from the show on the 2016 Tony Awards, which will be broadcast June 12 on CBS.
Fans of the critically acclaimed, but now closed production can visit GetSpringOnTheTonys.com to read more about this initiative; contributions to Deaf West Theatre's Kickstarter are tax-deductible. The campaign is seeking to raise $200,000 by June 11. As of 1:30 PM June 6, 1,534 backers had donated $136,345.
On June 6, Deaf West artistic director David J. Kurs told Playbill.com, “I think we have a very real chance of succeeding! If we don’t hit the Kickstarter goal, we don’t get any funds.”
Tony Awards Productions does not comment on which shows will have numbers on the broadcast until all are announced together, which is scheduled to take place sometime this week. They offered no comment on the Deaf West campaign.
“The past few weeks have been a thrill for Deaf West and everyone at Spring Awakening. We are not in the business of theater-making for awards recognition, but being recognized and remembered by the Broadway community, particularly in this season of diversity, is something to treasure,” said Kurs in an earlier statement.
“Our journey to Broadway originally began with a Kickstarter, which funded rehearsals in a tiny church in North Hollywood and performances at the 99-seat Inner City Arts’ Rosenthal Theater in Los Angeles. Now, as a non-profit, Deaf West is looking to our fervent supporters, many of whom supported Spring Awakening’s acclaimed limited run on Broadway, to reunite our far-flung cast for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform for the world on the Tony Awards broadcast. There’s just one night a year that theater gets this platform. Our performance will be an undeniable statement to the world that theater is for everyone.”
Spring Awakening, directed by Tony Award nominee Michael Arden and choreographed by Spencer Liff, concluded its limited engagement at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre January 24. The production was performed simultaneously in American Sign Language and spoken English by a cast of 28. The show began previews September 8, 2015, and opened for a limited engagement September 27; upon closing it had played 23 previews and 137 regular performances.
Plans for a national tour to begin in 2017 have been announced.
(Updated June 6)