New Groundbreaking "Our Town" Staging Starring Jane Kaczmarek Will be Performed with Spoken English, American Sign Language

Published : Thursday, August 24, 2017 | 3:48 PM

Jane Kaczmarek. Photo by Daniel Rader

Pasadena Playhouse, the State Theatre of California and Deaf West Theatre, the performing arts organization behind the Tony Award-winning and Ovation Award-winning revival of Spring Awakening, have announced the cast and creative team for a new production of Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town”.

Directed by Tony Award-nominated Sheryl Kaller (Broadway’s Next Fall, Mothers and Sons) this groundbreaking new co-production by Pasadena Playhouse and Deaf West Theatre will be performed in both American Sign Language and spoken English.

Performances begin September 26, 2017 and run through October 22, 2017, with the official press opening on Sunday, October 1, 2017. Tickets are now on sale at pasadenaplayhouse.org.

The 2017/18 season marks Producing Artistic Director Danny Feldman’s inaugural season for Pasadena Playhouse, which celebrates its centennial this year.

“I wanted to kick off the Playhouse’s Centennial Season by revisiting one of the greatest plays ever written, one that was originally produced here at the Playhouse in 1939, just a year after its world premiere,” said Pasadena Playhouse Producing Artistic Director Danny Feldman. “By partnering with our friends at Deaf West Theatre, together we are creating a thrilling opportunity for our community to experience this timeless classic in a profound new way.”

“The play is a touchstone of American theatre,” said Deaf West Theatre’s Artistic Director DJ Kurs. “It’s thrilling to adapt one of the classic works of the American stage with a director like Sheryl Kaller and a cast of this caliber but also to perform it before an audience that, more than ever, is unified in an understanding and appreciation of the possibilities of a bilingual staging in American Sign Language and English.”

Acclaimed actress Jane Kaczmarek stars in Wilder’s American masterpiece as the Stage Manager. She starred for seven years in the Emmy Award-winning TV series Malcom in the Middle. As “Lois,” she was nominated for seven consecutive Emmy Awards, as well as numerous Golden Globe and SAG Awards, and has won the American Comedy Award and the Television Critic’s Award for two consecutive years, the first woman to ever receive such an honor.

Kaczmarek starred in the West Coast run of David Lindsay-Abaire’s 2011 Tony Award-nominated play Good People at the Geffen Playhouse, for which she received a 2012 Ovation Award nomination for Lead Actress in a Play. And, recently appeared in Eugene O’Neill masterpiece Long Day’s Journey Into Night also at the Geffen, where she starred opposite Alfred Molina as “Mary Tyrone.” Other Los Angeles theater credits include: Kindertransport for which she received an Ovation Award; and at South Coast Repertory she appeared in the premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Dinner With Friends and Raised in Captivity for which she won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award.

In New York, Kaczmarek appeared on Broadway in Lost in Yonkers and in plays at the Manhattan Theatre Club, The Public, Second Stage, Long Wharf, New York Stage and Film, and the Berkshire and Williamstown Theatre Festival.

In addition to Jane Kaczmarek, the cast of “Our Town”, which includes performers signing American Sign Language (ASL) and speaking roles, features:

Marie-France Arcilla as Ensemble
A Drama Desk Award recipient for her performance in
Stephen Schwartz’s Working. Off-Broadway credits: Shout!, The Ark, Sid, and others.

Deric Augustine as George Gibbs
Regional theater credits include: The King and I, Romeo and Juliet
and A Soldier’s Play. TV credits include Queen Sugar.

Harold Foxx as Howie Newsome
Numerous film, TV and stage credits include The Actor Whisperer, For My Woman,
Audism Unveiled, and more.

Sandra Mae Frank as Emily Webb
Best known for her role as “Wendla” in Broadway’s Spring Awakening,
and Lyric Theatre’s Fiddler on the Roof.

David Gautreaux as Ensemble
Los Angeles and New York stage lead roles include: Tom Jones, Jumpers,
Real to Reel, Blood Moon and others.

Russell Harvard as Mr. Webb
Broadway’s Spring Awakening, Off Broadway’s Tribes, for which he received
a Theatre World Award and Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Award nominations. He is most recognized for his work as HW Allman in the 2008 Oscar nominated film There Will Be Blood. He currently stars in Fargo.

Dot Marie Jones as Mrs. Soames
Three Emmy Award nominations for her role as football coach ‘Shannon Beiste’
on FOX’s megahit television show Glee.

Leonard Kelly-Young as Ensemble
Mark Taper Forum’s The Christians and A School for Scandal, Seattle Repertory
Theatre’s A View From the Bridge, and others.

Troy Kotsur as Simon Stimson
Deaf West’s Spring Awakening, Big River, and At Home at the Zoo.

Annika Marks as Mrs. Webb
Geffen Playhouse’s The Model Apartment, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Doesn’t Anyone Know What A Pancreas Is for which she received an Ovation Award Nomination for Best Featured Actress.

Ivan Martinez as Ensemble

Amanda McDonough as Ensemble
Theater credits: Once Upon a Mattress, Annie and The Taming of the Shrew.

Natasha Ofili as Ensemble

Sharon Pierre-Louis as Emily Webb
ABC Family’s Lincoln Heights and The Lying Game.
She played “Lil Jody” in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained.

On Shiu as Ensemble
Hollywood Fringe Festival’s Grimm Tales, The Manor Theatre Company’s Big Love
and Miles Memorial Playhouse’s Letter to Eve.

Alexandria Wailes as Mrs. Gibbs
Broadway productions include Deaf West Theatre’s
Spring Awakening and Big River.

Jud Willford as Mr. Gibbs
First National Touring Company of Wicked, Scapin with Bill Irwin, and the title role of Macbeth with The California Shakespeare Theater.

The cast of “Our Town” is composed of deaf and hearing actors. The production will be performed in American Sign Language and English in a seamless ballet.

Joining Kaller’s “Our Town” creative team are award-winning choreographer David Dorfman (Indecent), scenic designer David Meyer, costume designer Ann Closs Farley, lighting designer Jared A. Sayeg, co-sound designer Leon Rothenberg, co-sound designer Jonathan Burke, associate director Srda Vasiljevi?, ASL masters Joshua Castile and Jevon Whetter, and production stage manager Jenny Slattery.

“Our Town” will begin performances on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 and run through Sunday, October 22, 2017, with the official press opening on Sunday, October 1, 2017 at 5 p.m. Performance schedule is Tuesday – Friday evenings at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00. Schedule notes: there is no Sunday, October 1 matinee performance; there are no Tuesday evening performances on October 3 and 17; there is no performance on Wednesday evening on October 18; and there is a performance on Sunday, October 22 at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets for “Our Town” are $25 – $92 and available online at PasadenaPlayhouse.org, by phone at (626) 356-7529 or by visiting the Pasadena Playhouse Box Office, located at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena. For more information on all productions at Pasadena Playhouse visit PasadenaPlayhouse.org.

About Deaf West Theatre

Deaf West Theatre Company, Inc., (DWT) was founded in 1991 to improve and enrich the cultural lives of deaf and hard of hearing individuals who live in the Los Angeles area. Recognized as the premier sign language theater in the United States, DWT consistently sets the standard of innovation for inclusive theatrical experiences of the highest quality for deaf and hearing audiences. DWT productions feature deaf and hearing actors working together to present stories in a seamless ballet of movement, with both American Sign Language (ASL) and spoken English.

DWT’s groundbreaking adaptation of Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was first performed at DWT’s intimate 99-seat theater, then in co-production with Center Theatre Group at the Mark Taper Forum before moving to Broadway’s American Airlines Theater at the Roundabout where it earned two Tony nominations and a Tony Honor for Excellence. It went on to tour nationally, including performances at the Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C., and internationally at the Tokyo’s Aoyama Theatre. In 2014-15, DWT’s adaptation of Spring Awakening was performed at Inner City Arts and at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts before it moved to the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on Broadway, garnering three Tony nominations and performing on the broadcast of the Tony Awards.

About Pasadena Playhouse

Celebrating its Centennial this year, Pasadena Playhouse is the second oldest theater in the country and has produced over 1,200 shows including over 500 world premieres. Designated the State Theater of California in 1937, our legacy includes world premieres by beloved American playwrights Eugene O’Neil and Tennessee Williams and productions that have transferred to Broadway like Sister Act: The Musical. Today Pasadena Playhouse continues its tradition of excellence under the helm of Producing Artistic Director, Danny Feldman. Dedicated to enriching lives through theater, community programs and learning, Pasadena Playhouse is a living force in the community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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