Broadway alum Sandra Mae Frank will star as Natalie in the upcoming spoken English-ASL production of Next to Normal in Austin, Texas. Frank made her Broadway debut as Wendla in the Deaf West revival of Spring Awakening and is currently in the company’s West Coast staging of The Solid Life of Sugar Water.
The Ground Floor Theatre and Deaf Austin Theatre co-production will start performances December 5 and is scheduled to run through December 21. The show, directed by Lisa Scheps and Brian Cheslik, is presented in simultaneous spoken English and ASL, with each role played by 2 cast members—one deaf, one hearing.
Joining Frank are Maryanna Tollemache as her Natalie counterpart, Kerry McGinnis and Megg Rose as Diana, Jim Lindsay and Seth Washington as Dan, Riley Wesson as Gabe, Daniel Ponce and Tyrique Sylvester as Henry, and Kirk Kelso and JoAnn Benfield as Dr. Madden.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning musical from composer Tom Kitt and lyricist-book writer Brian Yorkey play Broadway in 2009, with Tony winner Alice Ripley as Diana, Brian d’Arcy James, Aaron Tveit, Jennifer Damiano, Adam Chanler-Berat, and Louis Hobson.
The production team includes music directors Adam Roberts and Dr. Ellie Jarret Shattles, choreographer Kelsey Oliver, costume and prop designer Patti Neff-Tiven, scenic designer Zac Crofford, lighting designer Amber Whatley, sound designer Jeff Miller, ASL coordinator Sharon Ploeger, production stage manager Kelsey Moringy, and stage manager Danielle Grisko.