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An Interpreted Performance of ‘La Cage aux Folles’ Available for the Arizona Deaf Community

Beginning with Season 15, Arizona Broadway Theatre launched a new program to create community-related impact projects to accompany each production. These projects are designed to provide ABT the opportunity to expand its community engagement in meaningful, measurable and memorable ways that extend beyond the stage. Art, as they say, imitates life, and with each production come real-life show-specific themes that correlate to topics and issues of the day. With this in mind, ABT is running a teen-youth anti-bullying community impact project entitled, “I Am What I Am” in conjunction with the run of the La Cage aux Folles. In the spirit of inclusion and acceptance, Arizona Broadway Theatre and Herberger Theater Center are proud to host this interpreted performance for the Arizona Deaf community at the 2pm show on Saturday, March 14, 2020. BUY TICKETS FOR THIS PERFORMANCE.

About our ASL Interpreting Team

Lisa Schulman is a Washington, DC, native with extensive onstage drama and musical theater experience since early elementary school.  Now based in Phoenix, AZ, Lisa holds an RID NIC (National Interpreter Certification) and specializes in Theatrical interpreting, as well as Mental Health and Addiction & Recovery settings. Her favorite shows to have interpreted include the Broadway national tours of Hamilton, Pippin, Book of Mormon, and Aladdin, and local professional productions of Avenue Q, The Diary of Anne Frank, and Cabaret. Lisa is thrilled to collaborate on another show for Arizona Broadway Theatre.

Cameron Eggers has been involved in theatre and dance from a young age. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language, he became immersed with the Deaf Community in Sacramento, California, where he discovered his passion for interpreting. Cameron was also a company member for the Sacramento Contemporary Dance Theatre, where he collaborated with the Deaf Community and Hearing Community alike to aid in curating Sign of Life, a production that embedded American Sign Language into Contemporary Dance movement. This production benefited Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and CODA youth. After relocating to Phoenix, Arizona, Cameron became certified and now works as a professional interpreter in many settings, with theatre closest to his heart. Cameron is currently a company member with Scorpius Dance Theatre under the direction of Lisa Starry. Cameron would like to thank Arizona Broadway Theatre for a warm welcome, and he looks forward to La Cage Aux Folles.

Missy Keast is the ASL Coach for this interpreted performance of La Cage Aux Folles. Profoundly Deaf, she has taught ASL classes since 1989 and today owns the ASL online curriculum website (www.aslinside.com). After training with the National Theatre of the Deaf in the early 1990s, Missy worked at Deaf West Theatre as an ASL consultant in several plays including Oliver! and also worked at Southwest Shakespeare Company in the mid-2000s where Cyrano was her favorite production!

Brandon Kazen-Maddox plays Bitelle/Cagelle in La Cage Aux Folles and has also been the Deaf Community Liaison for this interpreted performance. Brandon is a Grandchild of Deaf Adults (GODA) and a third-generation native user of American Sign Language (ASL). Based in New York City, he recently graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with his Master of Fine Arts degree from the department of Dance and New Technology. He began his career as a gymnast from the age of four, attended the San Francisco Circus Center’s Professional Training Program in Chinese Acrobatics in 2010 and worked as a professional circus acrobat and dancer for seven years in San Francisco, CA. Brandon is also the president and CEO of Body Language Productions, Inc., an American Sign Language Dance Theater and Video Production Company (2012). Brandon is grateful to Arizona Broadway Theatre for accommodating his Deaf family members and bringing the art of musical theatre to the Arizona Deaf community!

‘La Cage aux Folles’ Transfers to Herberger Theater Center March 6-22

By Maddy Dowler

Following its highly successful run in Peoria at Arizona Broadway Theatre (ABT), La Cage aux Folles will move to Herberger Theater Center (HTC) in downtown Phoenix March 6 through March 22, 2020.* ABT has been a resident company at HTC since 2018 having partnered with HTC on productions such as A Christmas Carol, Beauty and The Beast, Mary Poppins, Sweeney Todd, An American in Paris and, most recently, the hilarious Addams Family in June 2019.

The precursor to the well-known 1996 film The Birdcage starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane, Jerry Herman’s 6-time Tony Award-winning La Cage aux Folles tells the story of Jean-Michel and Anne who are newly engaged, and her strait-laced parents want to meet his. The only problem? His birth-mother is out of the picture, his dad owns a drag nightclub, and his mom is the star of the show! Jean-Michel wants just one night with his parents playing it “straight” to impress Anne’s parents. What’s a drag queen to do? Audiences will devour Herman’s well-known power ballads, rowdy show tunes, and dreamy duets.

With the run at HTC, ABT will continue its teen-youth anti-bullying community IMPACT PROJECT entitled, “I Am What I Am.” “While the central theme of La Cage focuses on issues of inclusion and acceptance related to the LGBTQ+ community,” says Brad York, ABT Director of Marketing & Development, “our intent with this impact project is to broaden the focus of inclusion and acceptance among all people.”

ABT has several community outreach elements aligned with the “I am what I am!” IMPACT PROJECT, including PSA type videos that focus on the impact of bullying among teen-youth, the emotional and physical impact of bullying, as well as resource information for those seeking help. Also, the cast of La Cage will visit One n Ten in downtown Phoenix whose mission is to serve LGBTQ+ youth and young adults ages 11-24.  Learn more about One n Ten at https://onenten.org/.

Finally, in the spirit of inclusion and acceptance, ABT and HTC will host an interpreted performance for the Arizona Deaf community on Saturday, March 14, 2020, at 2 pm at HTC. Tickets for this special performance can be purchased at HerbergerTheater.org.  

Upcoming ABT productions at HTC include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which will run on the Mainstage in Peoria June 5 – July 3 and then transfer to HTC July 10 – 26, 2020. Partial funding is provided by the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture through appropriations from the Phoenix City Council.

BUY TICKETS TO LA CAGE AUX FOLLES

*Presented in partnership with Herberger Theater Center. Show transfers to Herberger Theater Center at 222 E. Monroe St, Phoenix, AZ, following the run at Arizona Broadway Theatre, located at 7701 W Paradise Ln., Peoria, AZ.