Photo Flash: Deaf & Hearing Broadway Vets Team Up For Workshop of STEPCHILD, A New Musical
Deaf West/Broadway Spring Awakening and Big River stars, Amelia Hensley, Alexandria Wailes & Melissa van der Schyff, reunited last week for this groundbreaking original musical centering on a Deaf heroine, directed by Drama Desk nominee Kim Weild (Fetes De La Nuit, Soot and Spit) with Artistic Sign Language by Alexandria Wailes (Children Of A Lesser God, currently on Broadway).
The original music and lyrics are by David James Boyd (Broadway alum of Miss Saigon, Kiss Of The Spider Woman) with book by BOYD and Chad Kessler (The Groove Factory). Co-conceived by BOYD, KESSLER, and Kori Rushton (Artistic Director, IRT Theater). Stepchild's Musical Direction is by Dan Pardo (Goodspeed Opera House).
It is believed that American Sign Language (ASL) is the THIRD most commonly used language in the United States. However, the long, harsh and extraordinary path towards modern Deaf culture is hardly common knowledge. Inspired by the tales of The Brothers Grimm, STEPCHILD is an original musical about Orella, (Spring Awakening's Amelia Hensley), a young Deaf woman living at the brink of the Italian Renaissance whose courage to communicate with sign language saves her kingdom from evil and prejudice. Previously developed at Lark Play Development Center, The National Technical Institute for the Deaf and IRT's 3B Residency Series, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center's Rough Draft Festival presented a work-in-progress presentation of this original musical piece, accessible to both Deaf and hearing audiences.
In addition to Hensley, Stepchild stars Melissa van der Schyff ( Deaf West/ Broadway's Big River; Broadway's Bonnie and Clyde, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations), Alexandria Wailes (Deaf West/ Broadway's Big River & Spring Awakening, Super Bowl LII), Dickie Hearts (Netflix's Grace & Frankie) and 12-year-old Catalene Sacchetti-Manganelli as the young Orella.
Catalene Sacchetti- Manganelli
Catalene Sacchetti-Manganelli and Jacob Hoffman
Catalene Sacchetti-Manganelli and April Lavalle
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