Children of a Lesser God begins performances on Broadway

Joshua Jackson and Lauren Ridloff star in the Kenny Leon-helmed Broadway revival at Studio 54.

Joshua Jackson & Lauren Ridloff in Children of a Lesser God

The Broadway revival of Mark Medoff's 1980 Tony Award-winning "Best Play" Children of a Lesser God, directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon, begins previews at Studio 54 tonight, ahead of an official opening on April 11 and an open-ended engagement.

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 cast of Children of a Lesser God includes TV favorite Joshua Jackson and co-star Lauren Ridloff (who will both be making their Broadway debuts as James Leeds and Sarah Norman, respectively), alongside Drama Desk Award nominee Kecia Lewis (as Mrs. Norman), Julee Cerda (as Edna Klein), Treshelle Edmond (as Lydia), Anthony Edwards (as Mr. Franklin), and John McGinty (as Orin Dennis).

The creative team features scenic design by Tony Award winner Derek McLane, costume design by Dede Ayite, and lighting design by Tony Award nominee Mike Baldassari.

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, 2017 in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

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.

Children of a Lesser God is produced on Broadway by Hal Luftig and Craig Haffner, alongside Tamar Climan, Sanford Block, and deaf activist, model and actor Nyle DiMarco.

Children of a Lesser God Tickets are available now for performances through to September 9, 2018.

(Photo by Matthew Murphy)