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Deaf West's Spring Awakening begins previews tonight

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

The Deaf West Theatre's revival of Spring Awakening begins performances tonight at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, before an official opening night on 27 September 2015. The strictly limited engagement will end on 9 January 2016, with no possibility of an extension.

Spring Awakening features music by Duncan Sheik, and book and lyrics by Steven Sater. This revival production is performed in both American Sign Language and spoken English, directed by Michael Arden and features choreography by Spencer Liff.

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 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."

The complete cast includes Oscar winner Marlee Matlin (Adult Woman), Miles Barbee (Otto), Katie Boeck (Voice of Wendla), Alex Boniello (Voice of Moritz), Joshua Castille (Ernst), Daniel Durant (Moritz), Treshelle Edmond (Martha), Sandra Mae Frank (Wendla), Kathryn Gallagher (Voice of Martha), Sean Grandillo (Voice of Otto), Russell Harvard (Adult Man), Amelia Hensley (Thea), Lauren Luiz (Heidi/Voice of Thea), Austin McKenzie (Melchior), Andy Mientus (Hanschen), Patrick Page (Adult Man), Krysta Rodriguez (Ilse), Daniel David Stewart (Voice of Ernst), Ali Stroker (Anna), Alexandra Winter (Gretl), and Alex Wyse (Georg).

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

Spring Awakening is produced on Broadway by Ken Davenport, Cody Lassen, Hunter Arnold, along with Deaf West Theatre.

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

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