On Sunday, September 27th, Clay Aiken attended a special opening on Broadway. He attended The Deaf West Theaters production of the rock musical, Spring Awakening. The show is on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theater and is directed by Michael Arden.
The book and lyrics of the show are by Steven Sater and the music is by Duncan Sheik. The story is set in late -19th century Germany and is about a tale of sexual exploration of teenagers and their conflict with a repressive social order.
In an interview on the Red Carpet, Clay Aiken said he was excited to see the show and was particularly there to support his good friend, Marlee Matlin who is making her Broadway debut.
It is wonderful to know that the stage is filled with both hearing and deaf actors. I hope that I might have the opportunity to see this production of Spring Awakening.
I think there may be another reason that Clay is supporting this wonderful production. According to the Deaf West Theater website:
- All performances are fully accessible in English and American Sign Language.
- Wheelchair locations are available in the orchestra section of the theatre
- For guests with limited mobility, there are seats available with movable/folding armrests
- For guests with low vision or hearing loss, accessible seats are available in the Orchestra
Now, if we can just get all theatre companies to do this all the time!!
I was so excited to learn more about the Deaf West Theatre. According to the Kennedy Center Website:
Deaf West Theatre (DWT) was founded in 1991 to improve and enrich the cultural lives of deaf and hard of hearing individuals who live in the Los Angeles area. Recognized as the premiere sign language theater in the United States, DWT consistently sets the standard of innovation for inclusive theatrical experiences of the highest quality for deaf and hearing audiences. Through the medium of Sign Language Theatre, a legacy of deaf culture is created and preserved. In addition to benefiting members of the deaf community, these achievements greatly influence mainstream perspectives about the culture and ability of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing…In October 2005, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services selected DWT for the Secretary’s Highest Recognition Award for “bridging the gap between the deaf and hearing through theater.”
What an amazing group!
It was fun to see the excitement that Clay produced as he walked on the red carpet. His name was mentioned in headlines about the shows opening and was interviewed on the Red Carpet. His name was all over Twitter on Sunday night. I really liked that Spring Awakening tweeted:
It’s been fun seeing all the attention Clay has received when he made this public appearance. People from the Broadway family to the general public love seeing him and want to know how he is and what he is doing!!
Have you ever seen the musical, Spring Awakening?