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Sound Theatre To Stream ASL MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM in A Solstice-Inspired Digital Revival

ASL MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM received the 2018 TPS Gregory People's Choice Award for Outstanding Production of a Play.

Sound Theatre To Stream ASL MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM in A Solstice-Inspired Digital Revival

Three years after an onstage romp in Athens and the woods beyond, ASL MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM is back: this time, by digital streaming.

Longtime Sound Theatre fans may remember the Spring 2018 run of this production, arguably the most intensive ASL translation of Shakespeare and cultural crossover production ever staged in the Pacific Northwest.

Launching in August for on-demand streaming, ASL MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM is Sound Theatre's newest 2021 season offering. Ticketing details will be announced in July. See website for details. As an education outreach opportunity, this video is also available to schools, Deaf/ASL programs, and theaters by request.

Reviving this production on a digital platform made sense for multiple reasons. One, it's a timely nod to Summer Solstice's ritualized transitioning of worlds and a celestial celebration of change, aptly reflecting Sound Theatre's 2021 theme of "THEATRE AT THE CROSSROADS."

Secondly, it lends continuity to the season's original intent of illuminating the Deaf/disabled theatre community and offering a rare opportunity to experience a full Shakespeare play in ASL.

"We placed a great emphasis on a sophisticated level of sign artistry and crystal clarity specifically for Deaf audiences," said Howie Seago, who co-directed ASL MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM in 2018. "One patron, a Deaf actor of renown, exclaimed that he 'finally understood Shakespeare' through the vivid visuality of ASL in this play. Hearing audiences were entranced by the talented hearing actors who vocally matched the deaf characters. Now you are fortunate for the opportunity to watch this unique, striking performance of high theatrical quality from the comfort of home."

Years ago, co-director Teresa Thuman learned that the complexity of Shakespeare's Elizabethan English text left local theatres struggling to provide ASL interpretation for the Bard's plays.

With a shoestring budget, volunteer support, sponsorship, and partnerships with from Deaf Spotlight and the Hearing, Speech and Deaf Center, ASL MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM was born. Three years later, it lives on thanks to an archival video (captured by videographer Robert Falk) originally intended to provide a record of the sign language artistry.

ASL MIDSUMMER follows another untimely pivot in Sound Theatre's pandemic programming: the original May 2021 programming slot was a digital premiere of THE MADWOMAN OF CHAILLOT, which featured a large, 20-actor cast with a significant number of Deaf/disabled actors. However, that project was cut short due to an error by the licensing entity.

MADWOMAN featured many Deaf luminaries who can be seen in MIDSUMMER's team: Seago (Co-director and DASL), Jake Merz (Peter Quince), Brittany Rupik (Helena), Kai Winchester (Lysander), Reggie Scott (Snug) and Amelia Hensley (ASL Coach).

ASL MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM received the 2018 TPS Gregory People's Choice Award for Outstanding Production of a Play.

Learn more at https://soundtheatrecompany.org/.


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