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Children of a Lesser God to be revived at Studio 54

Photo by Guzman
Lauren Ridloff & Joshua Jackson

Children of a Lesser God
Lauren Ridloff &
Joshua Jackson

Joshua Jackson will make his Broadway debut in the first-ever Broadway revival of Mark Medoff's 1980 Tony Award-winning "Best Play" Children of a Lesser God, directed by Tony winner Kenny Leon, which will begin previews at Studio 54 on March 22, 2018, before an official opening on April 11.

Mr. Jackson, playing the role of James Leeds, will be joined by his co-star Lauren Ridloff as Sarah Norman, who will also be making her Broadway debut. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.

Producer Hal Luftig released the following statement:

“Despite having more modes of communication at our collective fingertips than ever before, true connection has never seemed so elusive. It has been more than thirty-five years since this play first premiered, and its themes are as resonant today as ever.”
Director Kenny Leon added:
“At its essence, this is a poignant and profound love story. Ever since these characters, Sarah Norman and James Leeds, first entered the public consciousness, we’ve been fascinated by their relationship to each other and the world around them. I think our appreciation for what Mark created with this play has only deepened with time.”
This new production was first mounted on the Fitzpatrick Main Stage during Berkshire Theater Group’s 2017 Summer Season, garnering wide critical acclaim and shattering box office records. The BTG production ran from June 22 through to July 22 in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Synopsis: "Children of a Lesser God tells the story of James Leeds, a new teacher at a school for the deaf, and Sarah Norman, the school’s one-time star student who has stayed behind as its cleaning woman rather than venturing out into the hearing world. James immediately takes a keen interest in Sarah, and tries to persuade her to communicate orally by lip reading. They soon embark on an emotional journey that will teach them both new ways of communicating and loving and, in the process, they build a romance beyond words."

The first staging of Children of a Lesser God on Broadway took place in 1980 and earned three Tony Awards, including "Best Play," as well as two Tonys for its leading actors Phyllis Frelich and John Rubinstein. It ran for more than two years and went on to be adapted for the silver screen, earning five Academy Award nominations and winning Marlee Matlin an Oscar for "Best Actress" in 1987. Ms. Frelich and Ms. Matlin remain the only deaf actresses to have ever won the Tony Award and Academy Award, respectively, for leading roles.

Joshua Jackson previously made his off-Broadway debut in the Second Stage Theater's 2016 production of 'Smart People.' He is perhaps best known for his TV roles as Cole Lockhart on "The Affair," as Peter Bishop on "Fringe," and as Pacey Witter on "Dawson's Creek." Other notable screen credits include "Cruel Intentions," "Urban Legend" and the "Mighty Ducks" franchise.

- by Tom Millward

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