Inspired by the tales of The Brothers Grimm, STEPCHILD is a complex and magical fusion of theater, movement, music and American Sign Language, that tells the story of a young girl named Orella who born deaf at the brink of the Italian Renaissance endures a childhood of poverty, an adolescence in hiding, and imprisonment as a young adult in an asylum for the “cursed”. It is through her quest for knowledge and connection that she gathers courage to communicate through the banned language of Sign Language, eventually uniting a broken kingdom, and ultimately crowned the world’s first proud Deaf queen.
It is believed that American Sign Language (ASL) is the THIRD most commonly used language in the United States. However, the long, grim and extraordinary path towards modern Deaf culture is hardly common knowledge. Through the eyes of a Deaf heroine, this underrepresented historical topic is given a Gothic folktale spin in this sweeping story of empowerment. In 2018, the first act was presented in LPAC’s Rough Draft Festival. The second act will be presented in May 2019 once again in the Rough Draft Festival.
Music and Lyrics by David James Boyd | Book by David James Boyd & Chad Kessler | Concept by Kori Rushton, Chad Kessler & David James Boyd | Director of Artistic Sign Language Alexandria Wailes | Musical Direction by Dan Pardo | Assistant Director of Artistic Sign Language Siena Rafter | Assistant Director Jenna Hoffman