It’s official! The cast of the revival of Spring Awakening will be performing at this Sunday’s 70th annual Tony Awards, after running a successful Kickstarter campaign to help them get to the Tony stage. The campaign, which had the accompanying hashtag #GetSpringOnTheTonys, was launched to raise the $200,000 that was necessary for the performance.
Spring Awakening is nominated this year for Best Revival of a Musical, and although it might come as a surprise that a Tony-nominated production needed financial help to perform at the awards, the explanation is quite simple. Spring Awakening’s producer Ken Davenport told Broadway.com that the money would cover travel expenses for the actors, time spent in rehearsal, and all of the pieces of the set and design that are currently in storage in preparation for the 2017 national tour. The production closed on Broadway this past winter.
The campaign’s deadline was initially scheduled for June 11; however, earlier this week, the production predicted that it would raise enough money and made the decision to go ahead with performing at the Tonys. A video was posted to Spring Awakening’s official YouTube page to share the good news.
Since making that official call, the Kickstarter goal was met – and exceeded. As of today, June 9, Spring Awakening has raised $201,884 in support.
This isn’t the first time that this production of Spring Awakening has turned to Kickstarter for help. In 2014, it ran another successful campaign to initially mount the Deaf West production in Los Angeles. The production was so successful that it later made its way across the country to Broadway.
Part of why crowdsourcing has worked so well for this production is because of its huge impact and importance. This Deaf West version of Spring Awakening is one of the first Broadway shows to feature deaf actors and actresses, and it is also the first Broadway production to feature an actress who is in a wheelchair.
The revival’s cast is comprised of a perfect blend of deaf performers and hearing performers, and American Sign Language is beautifully and seamlessly woven into the show’s staging and choreography. Furthermore, many reviews of the production cite the musical’s multiple moments of silence as some of the most powerful parts of the entire show. The production was designed with the element of inclusion in mind.
Deaf West’s Spring Awakening is paving the way for theater to become more accessible to audience members and performers, regardless of ability. This groundbreaking piece of musical theater has earned its place on the Tony stage, and we couldn’t be more excited to watch them this Sunday.
Correction: A previous version of this piece incorrectly stated the mission of the initial 2014 Deaf West Spring Awakening Kickstarter campaign. It has been updated to reflect the corrected changes.
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