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Musical Theatre Teens Convey A Heartfelt Message Of Hope Through American Sign Language

Lyceum Studio's Musical Theatre Competition Troupe blends performance and accessibility, conveying raw emotion through American Sign Language (ASL) with a virtual performance of Steven Sondheim's No One Is Alone from the musical Into the Woods.

Watch below:

This spring, amidst the uncertainly of our world, students of Lyceum Studio's Musical Theatre Competition Troupe share an inspired message of hope - No One is Alone. Performed with empathy through American Sign Language, Steven Sondheim's music comes alive as though sign language were a dance; an expressive movement that heightens the emotional impact of the song. As evidenced by their virtual performance, communication was explored through body language, timing and facial expression blending beautifully with Emily Robinson's vocals.

At the start of the school year, these teen actors, in grades 6-12, began preparations to compete in spring theatre festivals. When the Coronavirus Pandemic reshaped their plans, they shined a light of positivity, accepted new challenges and supported their peers. Under the direction of Melanie Anderson and with an ASL instructional video created by Yolanda Figueroa, they seized the opportunity to delve into theatre accessibility and a get a taste of a new language. The final video premiered at Buck's County Playhouse's Virtual Student Theatre Festival on June 3rd and left students and audience members feeling together despite being in separate locations.

The future of theatre is one of inclusion and accessibility, and the Competition Troupe students had a chance to engage with this conversation.

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