Performance & Discussion of Visible Language—a World Premiere Musical in American Sign Language and in English at WSC Avant Bard in Washington, DC—Sunday 16 November 2014
The WSC Avant Bard theatre company and the Gallaudet University Theatre and Dance Program presented Visible Language—a world premiere musical, performed in American Sign Language and English, about the 1890s culture war that changed the life of every Deaf person in America— livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Sunday 16 November 2014, at 11 a.m. PST (San Francisco) / 1 p.m. CST (Chicago) / 2 p.m. EST (Washington, DC).
The performance will be followed by a discussion with members of the creative team. In Twitter, use #howlround.
Captions are available here—
Visible Language is a world premiere, Helen Hayes Award Recommended© musical with book and lyrics by Mary Resing and music by Andy Welchel. Performed in American Sign Language and English, the show tells the true story of the 1890s culture war when two powerful and egotistical men—Alexander Graham Bell and Edward Miner Gallaudet—clashed over how the Deaf should be taught to communicate. The outcome of that contest, vividly dramatized in sign and song in Visible Language, changed the life of every Deaf person in America.
The performance runs about one hour 50 minutes, after which there will be a discussion with members of the creative team.
Visible Language is directed by Tom Prewitt with musical direction by Elisa Rosman. Complete credits and cast and creative/production team bios can be found in the Visible Language program, which can be downloaded as a PDF available here.
Various locales around Washington, DC, during a week and a half in the 1890s.
SCENES AND MUSICAL NUMBERS
Prologue: A busy Washington, DC, street corner, “What Did You Say?” (Company)
Scene One: U.S. House of Representatives Committee Room, “Give Me a Sign” (Company)
Scene Two: The B&O Train Station, “We’re Here. Where Are We Going?” (Helen Keller & Anne Sullivan)
Scene Three: The Cosmos Club, “Century of Innovation” (Alexander Graham Bell, Edward Miner Gallaudet & Company)
Scene Four: The Bell household
Scene Five: A lecture hall at Kendall Green, “Need to Communicate” (Ennals Adams & Kendall Green Students)
Scene Six: Bell’s office, “Nothing Sweller Than Helen Keller,” I (Alexander Graham Bell, Ennals Adams & Company)
Scene Seven: An office in the Washington Post building
Scene Eight: Kendall Green board meeting, “Money” (Edward Miner Gallaudet, Professor Fay, Professor Berk, Ennals Adams, Rep. Randall & Company)
Scene Nine: Bell’s office, “Nothing Sweller Than Helen Keller,” II (Alexander Graham Bell, Ennals Adams & Company)
Scene Ten: The Bell household, “I Have My Own World” (Helen Keller & Company)
Scene Eleven: Kendall Green/Bell household/Office of House of Representatives, “Speech Is a Gift” (Edward Miner Gallaudet, Alexander Graham Bell, Mabel Bell & Company)
Scene Twelve: Bell’s office, “Nothing Sweller Than Helen Keller,” III (Alexander Graham Bell, Ennals Adams & Company)
Scene Thirteen: The White House, “We as Women, Educated” (Carrie Harrison, Mabel Bell, Mary Cannon, Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller, Eliza, Freddy & Company)
Scene Fourteen: U.S. House of Representatives Committee Room, “What Did You Say?” (Reprise) (Mabel Bell, Ennals Adams, Edward Miner Gallaudet, Alexander Graham Bell & Company)
Scene Fifteen: The Geographic Society meeting at the Bell house
Finale: “I Want to Communicate” (Company)
Book and Lyrics by Mary Resing
Music by Andy Welchel
Directed by Tom Prewitt
Music Direction by Elisa Rosman
Lisa Anne Bailey | Carrie Harrison
Tom Baldridge | Edward Miner Gallaudet
Adam Bartley | Dr. Edward Fay
Mikey Cafarelli | Rep. Joseph Cannon
John Cartwright II | Sam, a Kendall Green student
Tyresha Collins | May, a Kendall Green student
Lewis Freeman | Samuel Randall
Kari Ginsburg* | Mabel Bell
Brady Humphrey | Adolf, a Kendall Green student
Harv Lester | Alexander Graham Bell
Aarron Loggins | Ennals Adams Jr.
Jose Martinez | Jacob, a Kendall Green student
Miranda Medugno | Helen Keller
Sarah Anne Sillers | Anne Sullivan
Emily Stemper | Laura Redden Searing
Jaclyn Young | Mary Cannon
*Member, Avant Bard Acting Company
Alex Aucoin | Drums
Mitch Bassman, Lindsay Williams | Reeds
Meagan Frame, Rick Netherton | Bass
Elisa Rosman | Piano/Conductor
CREATIVE TEAM & PRODUCTION CREW
Stage Manager | Kathryn Dooley
Scenic Designer | Ethan Sinnott
Lighting Designer | Annie Wiegand
Assistant Lighting Designer | Casey Analco
Master Electrician | Alex Keen
Costume Designer | Elizabeth Ennis
Assistant Costume Designer | Lauren Lentini
Sound Designer | Neil McFadden
Choreography |Tyler Herman
Choreography for “I Want to Communicate” | Kriston Pumphrey
Properties Designer | Kevin Laughon
Production Manager | Lena Salins
Director of Artistic Sign Language | Aaron Kubey
Visual Dramaturg | Willy Conley
Assistant Directors | Charlie Ainsworth, Tyler Herman
Assistant Stage Manager | Victoria LeBlanc
Technical Director | Jacob Fisher
Assistant Technical Director | Nate Eubanks
Avant Bard Producer | Tom Prewitt
Gallaudet Producer | Ethan Sinnott
Gallaudet Theatre Department Coordinator | Juanita Cebe
Tom Prewitt | Artistic Director
Visible Language is a joint production of the WSC Avant Bard theatre company and the Gallaudet University Theatre and Dance Program, commemorating the 150th anniversary of Gallaudet University and the 25th anniversary of Avant Bard.
Livestreamed as performed 16 November 2014, in the Eastman Studio Theatre, Elstad Annex, Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002.
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