What is it about?
This essay thinks through how gesture, small symbolic, and functional embodiments shape meaning, choreographic organization, and production practices in Deaf West's 2015-2016 Broadway production of SPRING AWAKENING at the Brooks Atkinson Theater in New York City.
Why is it important?
Deaf West's important integration of ASL signing and staged movement has been considered in academic and popular theatre and performance discourse, but the company's production strategies--in particular, its commitment to staging musical theatre with hearing and nonhearing casts and for hearing and nonhearing audiences, has received minimal attention from arts advocates and critics. I write about infrastructure from a dance scholarly purview, which places political weight with embodied gestures as an analytical anchor capable of exposing how the many people responsible for staging live performance works cooperatively restructure working environments to invite broader belonging, in this case, within mainstream theatrical production.
The following have contributed to this page: Sarah Wilbur