~Written by Communications/Melchior Lover, Toro Adeyemi~
Last night was truly… Magical.
When a friend asked me if I wanted to see Spring Awakening on Monday night, I swiftly checked my calendar, saw my evening clear, and replied with a “Yes I can!!” At the time, I had no idea that it would be the Deaf West Theatre's revival of the 2006 musical by Duncan Sheik – a musical that I had seen twice before in my teenage years.
I remember waking up before 5am to get to the Eugene O’Neill Theatre early enough for rush tickets, setting up camp and passing the time by singing the score, hanging by the stage door post-show to meet the actors.
This revival is like nothing I have ever seen before – the synchronization between the actors using American Sign Language and the actors singing and speaking in English is quite breathtaking. With communication (or the lack thereof) being a central theme between the adult and child characters, seeing this beautiful metaphor played out on stage makes the messaging all the more powerful.
This musical serves as a reminder that it’s not always what you say, but it's really how you say it. The most powerful forms of communication tend to be non-verbal: it is through our body language and our tone of voice that we can best convey meaning.
Our voice flattens when we’re disinterested, our eyes open wide when we are thrilled, we cringe at an unpleasant thought or jump when we are frightened. Superfandom aside, I would have still found this production powerful even with no musical numbers sung because the actors' physical intentions are crystal clear. Often complex, yet seamless and sophisticated, I derived meaning primarily from their body language and gesticulation (stellar lighting and set design helped to set up the environment, as well). Truly captivating.
The Word of Our Body is a powerful comms tool. So Dance! Run. Jump. Sit up Straight. Stretch.
I highly recommend that you go see this limited engagement while it's running at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre thru January 24th, 2016. You have to see this for yourself. Then, let me know what you think!
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