Lin-Manuel Miranda Cameos, Kristin Chenoweth Sings in Stephen Karam's SPEECH & DEBATE Film
A big screen adaptation of Stephen Karam's first play, SPEECH AND DEBATE is heading to the big screen and will feature a host of theater veterans in its ensemble cast.
According to Variety, the film, directed by Dan Harris, will screen for potential distributors this fall. The starry cast includes multi-Tony award winner and HAMILTON creator Lin-Manuel Miranda in a cameo; Roger Bart ("You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown") and Kristin Chenoweth, who performs an original song over the end credits.
The film and the 2007 play that it is based on, centers on "three misfit high school students who find their voices through the speech and debate team. One of the three, Diwata, is a rabid theater fan who joins the team when she can't score a good part in the school play, and throws herself into the acting events that are an integral part of forensics competitions."
Miranda's role, described as "goofy," reportedly involves "a VHS and harem pants." Music from the Tony Award winning play HAMILTON also makes an appearance as part of Diwata's audition medley. Bart portrays the school principal. GLEE alum and 'Hedwig' star Darren Criss also appears, along with lead actors Austin McKenzie (SPRING AWAKENING), Liam James and Sarah Steele, who starred in the original play . Chenoweth's voice will be heard over the end credits, performing the original song "Losers are Winners," composed by Karam. Hedwig choreographer Spencer Liff lends his talents to the dance sequences.
"I really do think of it as a love letter to anyone who did speech and debate or did the school play," Karam tells Variety. "To have the movie infiltrated by the actual Broadway community is something I never envisioned when I was writing the play. I wrote it when I was 25. I didn't know anyone in the Broadway community!"
Read the article in full HERE
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos