In an interview with Jessica Gelt of the Los Angeles Times, Deaf West Artistic Director David Kurs recently argued for giving deaf actors the opportunity to play deaf roles.
Deaf West's “Big River” and “Spring Awakening” went on to Broadway, and its production of “Our Town” will open at the Pasadena Playhouse in the fall.
"When a deaf actor is not cast in a deaf or signing role, an opportunity is taken away from a person who has the life experience of being deaf," Kurs told Gelt in an email interview.
But he said that when a hearing actor is cast in a deaf role, it is "grist for the Deaf West mill."
"Deaf actors realize, perhaps subconsciously, that appearing on stage is the repudiation of the advice to their hearing parents when their child was born — that the child was deficient and needed to be fixed."
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