Tag Archives: deaf actors

‘Arrival & Departure’ was unlike anything I have experienced before

by Saif Saigol

As a theatre lover, I have often struggled to qualify the artistic value of a show. What, for example, separates a great, large-scale Broadway musical from a great, smaller, experimental work? When it comes to art, does more money equal more success? I received my answer last Saturday, at the designer run-through rehearsal of the Fountain’s Arrival & Departure: a successful play is one that leaves its audience thinking.

Art has the power to leave a lasting impact and change the way we think. That is exactly what I experienced after watching Arrival & Departure.

The play, at its core, follows the classic, impossible love-story of two star-crossed soul mates who have the universe standing between them. The 90-minute play is filled with heart-wrenchingly beautiful acting on the part of the ensemble and a fantastic script by Stephen Sachs. The artists invite us into their most intimate and vulnerable thoughts, thoughts that were born in a reality that they created out of nothing. It seemed impossible that such genuineness had been bred in only a few weeks of rehearsal – it is beyond inspiring to see what the Fountain team is capable of.

Personally, it was especially moving to experience the power and beauty of Deaf theatre for the first time. The show’s interwoven and unique mélange of ASL and Spoken English creates a dynamic and multi-dimensional artistic medium in which authenticity prevails. Deanne Bray and Troy Kotsur conveyed a degree of beauty, truth, and honesty in their signing that cannot be expressed in other forms of communication – it was almost like watching a dance. Especially moving was Bray’s ability to convey her character’s struggles with identity as a hard-of-hearing woman, switching back and forth between ASL and Spoken English.

The play struck me as a type of ‘deconstructed theatre’. The various forms of art involved – from ASL, to Spoken English, to movement, to staging – are separated but harmoniously married, each holding its own and conveying breath-taking emotion, but also supporting one another to create one beautiful piece. I left the rehearsal pondering the very nature of art, and the ways in which society often creates pigeon-holes for artists. Arrival & Departure was unlike anything I have experienced before – it is novel and unique, and conveys emotion in ways that don’t conform to exclusive norms. This, I believe, is the point of theatre, and I cannot wait for others to experience the magic of Arrival & Departure.

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Saif Saigol is the Development Intern at the Fountain Theatre.  

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Cyrano Has Been Invited to New York! 

But We Only Have 1 Week to Raise the Funds We Need. We are More Than Halfway There. Will You Help?
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We’ve launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise the support needed
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Congratulations to Michelle Montooth

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Last week’s bonus contest winner! She won a romantic dinner for 2 at Le Petit RestaurantMichelle says:

Cyrano was one of the best theater experiences I’ve ever had. And since I’m a theatre junkie, that’s saying something.”

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The Fountain’s co-production of Cyrano has been invited to New York.   In just two weeks, our talented lead actors and artistic team will be performing for
The New York Theatre Workshop, the Tony-winning company that launched Rent, Dirty Blonde, Homebody/Kabul, Peter and the Starcatcher, Once,and more.  This will be a staged reading for NY producers and investors with the goal of launching a NY production. To make this dream come true, we need you. Join Us!

Our Sold-Out Award-Winning Smash Hit Drew  Rave Reviews and National Attention in LA  

WINNER! 4 LA Drama Critics Circle Awards 
including Best Play and Best Production
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  “Irresistible! Consistently beautiful!
Critic’s Pick! – Backstage “GO!” – LA Weekly
“Perfection!” – SoCalTheatre  
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Video: Interview with Troy Kotsur and Erinn Anova from ‘Cyrano’

Cyrano actors Troy Kotsur (Cyrano) and Erinn Anova (Roxy) on the arts interview program Creative Current.

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Cyrano  Final Extension! Must End July 29th! (323) 663-1525  More Info