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National News

Deaf Broadway returns to Lincoln Center with ‘Sweeney Todd’ in American Sign Language

todayJuly 27, 2022

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Deaf Broadway

(NEW YORK) — Deaf Broadway returns to Lincoln Center, following the 2021 production of Into the Woods, featuring an entirely deaf cast. This year they perform Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, the chilling story following “the demon barber of Fleet Street.”

Just as last year, they’ll perform the show completely in American Sign Language in front of a screen broadcasting a filmed version. 


The cast takes the stage July 31, the final day of disability pride month, celebrating the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in July 1990. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.


Miranda Hoffner works in the accessibility department of Lincoln Center. 


“We’re excited to center that in the month of July and really focus on deaf and disabled artists and then how to make sure that anyone can go to anything they’re interested in at Lincoln Center at any time and have their needs met, but accessibility has been part of Lincoln Center story since‌ its founding,” she said of her work at Lincoln Center.


Hoffner says the accessibility department prioritizes making their productions enjoyable for all people, regardless of disability. This season they employed “haptic feedback,” which allows audiences to feel the music through their skin.


“Audience members are able to wear a backpack that sort of goes along their spine, very lightweight, and then wristbands and ankle bands and they pulse all five octaves,” she said. “It’s like really, really amazing to be able to feel music and take in music in another way.”


Hoffner also shares that the halls of Lincoln Center are wheelchair accessible and that they offer captioning on personal devices and even visual descriptions for those who are blind. 


This Sunday, they expect members of the deaf community, disability community and theatre and Sondheim fans alike to attend the production.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Written by: ABC News

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