Garden Theatre Announces ‘Children of a Lesser God’ Production
The Garden Theatre proudly announces Beth Marshall Presents’ production of the powerful drama, Children of a Lesser God by Mark Medoff sponsored by Progress Energy, March 15-30, 2013, at the Garden Theatre (160 West Plant Street, Winter Garden). On Friday, March 22nd at 8pm, there will be a fully interpreted American Sign Language performance in partnership with the Center for Independent Living.
Winner of the Tony Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award and the Drama Desk Award, Children of a Lesser God is the powerful drama by Mark Medoff. After three years in the Peace Corps, James, a young speech therapist, joins the faculty of a school for the deaf, where he is to teach lip-reading. He meets Sarah, a school dropout, totally deaf from birth. Fluent in sign language, James tries, with little success, to help Sarah, but gradually the two fall in love. At first their relationship is a happy and glowing one, but discord soon develops as Sarah becomes militant for the rights of the deaf and rejects any hint that she is being patronized and pitied. In the end the chasm between the worlds of sound and silence seems almost too great to cross, but love and compassion hold the hope of reconciliation, and a deeper, fuller understanding of differences that, in the final essence, can unite as well as divide.
The role of James Leeds is performed by Will Hagaman. Children of a Lesser God is Hagaman’s fourth production at the Garden Theatre, having previously performed in The Foreigner, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged, and the Beth Marshall Presents production of Crimes of the Heart.
The role of Sarah Norman is performed by Eliza Stevens. A graduate of the Professional Acting Training Program at the University of Central Florida, Stevens received an A.S. degree in Interpreter Training for the Deaf. This is Stevens’ first time on the Garden Theatre stage.
Other roles include Mike Deaven as Orin Dennis, Adrian LePeltier as Mr. Franklin, Ava Tunstall as Mrs. Norman, Madison Graham as Lydia, and Jamie Middleton as Edna Klein.
Four of the actors have spent the past year learning American Sign Language. “These actors have had to work harder on these roles that on every other one of my shows combined,” said director/producer Beth Marshall.
Children of a Lesser God is directed by Brenna Nicely and Beth Marshall. American Sign Language (ASL) direction by Joe Kramlinger. This is Beth Marshall’s directorial debut with the Garden Theatre, though this marks the eighth show produced by Beth Marshall Presents at the Garden Theatre, including previous shows L’Ange Avec Les Fleurs, Our Town, Crimes of the Heart, Driving Miss Daisy, A Christmas Carol, The Diviners, and Biloxi Blues.
This show contains strong language.
Show times are Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm, plus Thursday, March 28 at 8pm. Tickets are $25 for adults, $21 for seniors/students. For tickets, visit gardentheatre.org or call the Garden Theatre Box Office at 407-877-GRDN (4736).