Tonight we saw Open Window at the Pasadena Playhouse. This was a co-production with the Deaf West Theatre Company, which should give you a lot of information about the production.
The production was… different. There were three principal actors… who signed their entire performances. Above them and moving around them were two to three interpreters for those who could hear who spoke the parts of the actors. For the record, the production starred Kyle Colerider-Krugh, Jake Grafman, Jacueline Schultz, Erin Bennett, Chris B. Corrigan, Linda Bovd, and Shoshannah Stern. It was written by Stephen Sacks, and directed by Erin Simonson. It was a short production: four scenes, one act, no intermission, 90 minutes top.
So, what was it about. The LA Weekly described it thusly: the story concerns an incarcerated deaf youth, facing trial for patricide. Because his father had locked him in a basement for a decade, the boy never learned to sign. If a superstar linguist can teach him the connection between a subject and a predicate, he would be free from his void of thought; paradoxically, by being able to express himself, he would also be subject to imprisonment for his crime. Which is the greater prison?
The play, in reality, is about the importance of making connections to making us human. Be it the connections of words to form language, or the connections between people that make humanity. I found it strangely moving and consistently riviting.
In the program, the Pasadena Playhouse also announced the 2006 season: Diva, a comedy by Howard Michael Gould directed by David Lee; a version of As You Like It (World Premeier Adaptation) set in Southern California, Sherlock Holmes: The Final Destination (World Premiere), The Marriage Musicals: I Do! I Do and The Last Five Years in repertory; and Sister Act (World Premeier), a new musical with music by Alan Menken and Lyrics by Glenn Slater.
Next up for us is Pump Boys and Dinettes at the El Portal, after a morning dim sum run.
[Crossposted to cahwyguy and socal_theatre]