Marlee Matlin joins Deaf West's Spring Awakening


Oscar winner Marlee Matlin will make her Broadway debut as she joins the cast of Deaf West Theatre's revival of Spring Awakening.

Ms Matlin commented:

“It’s been 30 years since I had the opportunity to be part of the groundbreaking 'Children of a Lesser God' and I couldn’t be more proud and honored to have been asked to join Deaf West Theatre’s innovative revival of Spring Awakening on Broadway.”

In 1987, she won an Oscar (and Golden Globe) for her film debut in "Children of a Lesser God" and is the only deaf performer to have ever achieved this accolade to date. She also received Golden Globe nominations for "Reasonable Doubts" in 1992 and 1993, along with a total of four Emmy nominations. Other screen credits include "The One I Love," "Switched at Birth," "The L Word," "The West Wing," and "Picket Fences."

Additional casting will be announced at a later date.

The creative team has also been announced and features scenic and costume design by Dane Laffrey, lighting design by Ben Stanton, sound design by Gareth Owen, and projection design by Lucy Mackinnon.

Previews for Spring Awakening are scheduled to begin at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on 8 September 2015, before an opening night on 27 September. The strictly limited engagement will end on 9 January 2016, with no possibility of an extension.

The Deaf West Theatre show, which is performed in both American Sign Language and spoken English, is directed by Mientus' fiance Michael Arden and features choreography by Spencer Liff. Ken Davenport, Cody Lassen, Hunter Arnold, along with Deaf West Theatre, are producing the Broadway production.

Based on Frank Wedekind's controversial 1891 expressionist play of the same name, Spring Awakening follows "the lives of a group of adolescents as they navigate their journey from adolescence to adulthood in a fusion of morality, sexuality and rock 'n' roll."

The musical features music by Duncan Sheik, and book and lyrics by Steven Sater. The narrative explores "how young people navigate the thrilling, confusing and mysterious time of their sexual awakening. The story centers around a brilliant young student named Melchior, his troubled friend Moritz and Wendla, a beautiful young girl on the verge of womanhood."

Spring Awakening originally opened on 10 December 2006 at Broadway's Eugene O'Neill Theatre. It picked up an impressive 8 Tony Awards in 2007, including Best Musical. It closed on 18 January 2009, after 859 performances. The cast also featured "Glee" favourites Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele, as well as "Smash" star Krysta Rodriguez.

The show also ran at London's Novello Theatre from 21 March to 30 May 2009.

- by Tom Millward

Marlee Matlin