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 — officially opened at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills May 28 at 7 PM following previews that began May 21.
Co-presented by the Wallis, Deaf West Theatre and Cody Lassen, the limited 22-performance engagement will continue through June 14 in the Bram Goldsmith Theater. Directed by Michael Arden, Spring Awakening has musical direction by Jared Stein and choreography by Spencer Liff.
The cast features performers signing ASL and speaking roles, including Joey Antonio as Swing, Hillary Baack as Deaf Adult Women, Miles Barbee as Otto, Sean Barna as Drums, Katie Boeck as Voice of Wendla, Guitar, Alex Boniello as Voice of Moritz, Joshua Castille as Ernst, Julian Comeau as Swing, Daniel N. Durant as Moritz, Treshelle Edmond as Martha, Sandra Mae Frank as Wendla, Kathryn Gallagher as Voice of Martha, Guitar, Gabrielle Garza as Swing, Sean Grandillo as Voice of Otto, Bass, Karla Gutierrez as Swing, Amelia Hensley as Thea, Lauren M. Luiz as Voice of Thea, Heidi, Daniel Marmion as Hearing Adult Man, Austin McKenzie as Melchoir, Andy Mientus as Hanschen, Krysta Rodriguez as Ilse, Natacha Roi as Hearing Adult Women, Howie Seago as Deaf Adult Men, Daniel David Stewart as Voice of Ernst, Piano, Ali Stroker as Amma, Alexandra Winter as Ensemble, Harp and Alex Wyse as Georg.
The creative team includes set and costume designer Dane Laffrey, lighting designer Ben Stanton and projection designer Lucy MacKinnon.
Deaf West Theatre artistic director David J. Kurs previously stated, "We are honored and humbled to welcome new additions to the cast, including veterans of the Broadway and touring productions, into the Deaf West family. Their presence speaks to the artistic standards we strive to maintain and to continually elevate. We are thrilled to be able to bring our loyal patrons and new audiences another opportunity to see our expanded production of Spring Awakening at the beautiful Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts, with our award winning design elements expanded in scope to fill the larger space."
“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.”
One of Deaf West's previous productions, Big River, transferred to Broadway in 2003 and was nominated for Best Revival of a Musical. Deaf West itself won a special Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre in 2004.
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 was developed and previously workshopped with Deaf West by Arden and Andy Mientus.
Tickets for the engagement are $19-$99 and are available at 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.