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Signature Theatre Releases World Premiere Film HERE'S THE DEAL

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In Here’s the Deal, people are in economic ruin and there is a hot debate over the government’s role to solve the problems of an increasingly anxious American people.

Signature Theatre Releases World Premiere Film HERE'S THE DEAL

Signature Theatre's flagship education program, Signature in the Schools, now in its 26th year, has released the world premiere filmed production, Here's the Deal. Written by Caleen Sinnette Jennings (The Queens Girl Trilogy, Founding Member of The Welders) and directed by Signature's Education Director David Zobell (Signature in the Schools' UnResigned, 12 Million Footsteps), Here's the Deal features a cast and crew of 32 students, alongside professional actor Felicia Curry (Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, The Scottsboro Boys), and explores the New Deal and its contemporary relevance. Here's the Deal will be available on Marquee TV, Signature Theatre's global streaming partner. Single tickets are available for $5 and can be purchased at SigTheatre.org.

Free streaming will be provided to schools. Email sigschools@sigtheatre.org to request access for classrooms. Schools will also be able to access a curated website with further educational resources and lesson plans that comply with the Virginia Standards of Learning for English, Social Studies and Theater, as well as a virtual workshop taught by Signature Theatre teaching artists prior to film screening. There is no charge for either the website or workshops and the program is available to all schools nationwide.

"It was of the upmost importance that we continue Signature's largest free community service program throughout the pandemic," says Education Director David Zobell. "Especially with students learning from home, we knew they needed more than ever to connect - to each other and to the world as a whole. Caleen's meaningful script, and our inventive changes, allowed both things to be possible in what can seem like an impossible time."

"Signature in the Schools used to reach around 2,000 area students each year, but with the innovations to bring the play to film, we are able to open our exciting program nationwide to exponentially more students free of charge," said Managing Director Maggie Boland. "We are committed to continuing to serve our youngest artists throughout this crisis and are thrilled to have found a way to not only to do so, but actually to increase access to this important work."

In Here's the Deal, people are in economic ruin and there is a hot debate over the government's role to solve the problems of an increasingly anxious American people. Is it 1929 or 2020? Stuck learning from home during the pandemic, students in Mrs. Day's Theatre III class must think creatively to develop a play in their challenging circumstances. They choose to focus on the New Deal, the progressive legislation developed during another American crisis - the Great Depression. They learn that despite its good intentions, the program did not fully serve all those in need, and the students ponder if there is a solution that could help everyone - then and now.

Special consideration was paid to student and artist safety and the entire production was created remotely. The script was written to comply with social distancing protocols, virtual schooling, and stay at home orders. Rehearsals and filming were conducted through a mix of Zoom, FaceTime, phone and computer recordings, and email. Scenes were created at home, outdoors, and even in cars, and costumes were designed from the students' own wardrobes.

In addition to playwright Caleen Sinnette Jennings, director David Zobell and guest artist Felicia Curry, Here's the Deal's professional artist team includes Music Supervision by Kenny Neal (Easy Women Smoking Loose Cigarettes, Theater J's Becoming Dr. Ruth), Costume Supervision by Alison Samantha Johnson (Escaped Alone, Keegan Theatre's Legally Blonde), Assistant Direction and Dramaturgy by Matthew Taylor Strote (The Threepenny Opera, Elmer Gantry) and Dramaturgy by JoAn Cummins (Gypsy, Mosaic Theater's The Promised Land), Film Editing by James Gardiner (Simply Sondheim, Signature Vinyl) and Natalie Ridgley (The Signature Show, The Story of Walter) and Assistant Production Management by Kimberly J. Scott.

Check out the trailer below!


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