Marlee Matlin, the only deaf actress to win an Oscar for her starring role in 1986 film “Children of a Lesser God” (and at 21, the youngest to date) will be making her Broadway debut in Deaf West’s innovative upcoming revival of “Spring Awakening.”
When asked if she was now gunning for EGOT status, given her Oscar and several Emmy nominations, Ms. Matlin joked that she was working on voice lessons for an upcoming album. “The first Deaf EGOT. Wouldn’t that be something?” she wrote via email.
Matlin grew up performing in plays and musicals in sign language at the Center on Deafness in Chicago. In addition to her star-making film debut, she has become known for her iconic roles in TV shows including Seinfeld, The West Wing, and The L Word.
For her Broadway debut, Matlin will be playing Frau Gabor (Melchior's mother). Melchior’s best friend, Moritz, is also deaf in this production, and Frau Gabor “serves as a role model and source of compassion and inspiration” to him, according to Matlin.
Also joining the cast will be fellow deaf actor Russell Harvard, who recently wowed critics as the villainous Mr. Wrench in "Fargo." He previously made his film debut in There Will Be Blood, and later won great acclaim for his starring role in the Off-Broadway hit production of Tribes. Harvard, who will be playing Moritz's father, was born in Pasadena, Texas into a third-generation deaf family.
Rounding out the new adult hearing members of the cast will be Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Camryn Manheim (“The Practice," "Ghost Whisperer") playing Wendla's mother, and Drama Desk Award nominee Patrick Page (Cymbeline, Casa Valentina, Spider-Man, Hunchback of Notre Dame), who will play the teacher and headmaster.
The Spring Awakening revival is a Broadway transfer of Deaf West Theatre's recent Los Angeles production, performed simultaneously in American Sign Language and spoken and sung in English by a cast of 27. Michael Arden is directing and Spencer Liff is choreographing the production of Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater’s 2006 musical, which will open at the Brooks Atkinson Theater in September for a limited engagement though January 9, 2016.
Re-worded from Source 1 + 2
I am so goddamn excited for this show to open next month. It will be a game changer.