Children of a Lesser God
BETH MARSHALL PRESENTS is proud to present our 8th Production in partnership with The Garden Theater:
CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD
By Mark Medoff
Directed by Brenna Nicely and Beth Marshall
American Sign Language (ASL) Direction by Joe Kramlinger
When: March 15-31, 2013
Where: Garden Theatre (160 W. Plant St, Winter Garden, FL)
About the play:
Winner of the Tony Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award and the Drama Desk Award “After three years in the Peace Corps, James, a young speech therapist, joins the faculty of a school for the deaf, where he is to teach lip-reading. He meets Sarah, a school dropout, totally deaf from birth, and estranged both from the world of hearing and from those who would compromise to enter that world. Fluent in sign language, James tries, with little success, to help Sarah, but gradually the two fall in love and marry. At first their relationship is a happy and glowing one, as the gulf of silence between them seems to be bridged by their desire to understand each other’s needs and feelings, but discord soon develops as Sarah becomes militant for the rights of the deaf and rejects any hint that she is being patronized and pitied. In the end the chasm between the worlds of sound and silence seems almost too great to cross…but love and compassion hold the hope of reconciliation, and a deeper, fuller understanding of differences that, in the final essence, can unite as well as divide.
“CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD is an extraordinary play-illuminating, consistently interesting and moving.” -Variety.
Producer – Beth Marshall
Directors – Brenna Nicely and Beth Marshall
American Sign Language (ASL) Direction - Joe Kramlinger
American Sign Language (ASL) Specialists: Ryan Vander Weide, Mandy Longo, Susan Thompson-Gaines, Eliza Stevens, Madison Graham
Assistant Stage Managers - Melissa Koerner and Anastasia Kurtiak
Stage Manager Interns - Donald Johnston, Jr. and Kaitlyn Harrington
Sound Technician – Benjamin Lembree
Light Technician - Jay Ferrence
Backstage Costume/Crew - Ally Gursky
Light Crew - Samuel Finken and Mike O’Neill
Videography - Brent Solomon
Will Hagaman - James Leeds
Eliza Stevens - Sarah Norman
Mike Deavan - Orin Dennis
Adrian LePeltier - Mr. Franklin
Ava Tunstall - Mrs. Norman
Madison Graham - Lydia
Jamie Middleton - Edna Klein
Will Hagaman (James Leeds) - This is Will’s fourth production at the Winter Garden Theatre. He played Ellard in Jester Theatre’s production of The Foreigner, was a cast member of the three man show The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged, and played Doc in Beth Marshall Presents’ production of Crimes of the Heart. Will is proud to have appeared and produced at the Orlando Fringe Festival. He co-produced and appeared in this year’s production of The Worst Show in the Fringe. Last year he was seen in the production My Monster and he was the co-producer of The Well of Horniness in 2009. Other theatrical credits included appearing at SAK comedy lab, the Orlando Improv Festival, and in his original standup comedy show Silly Stuff. Will works full-time at Walt Disney World’s the Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor and part-time at Universal Studios, Sleuths Mystery Dinner Theater, and Bonkerz Comedy Club.
Eliza Stevens (Sarah Norman) - Elizarecently graduated cum laude from the B.F.A. Professional Acting Training Program at the University of Central Florida with a minor in Psychology. Some of her favorite roles on stage have been the Chorus Leader in The Burial at Thebes, Fury in The Insanity of Mary Girard, Madame in Café Noir, and Ensemble Member in Phobias. Eliza has also appeared in many short films, music videos, web series and infomercials. In addition to acting, Eliza likes working behind the scenes. She Received the KCACTF award for excellence as Assistant Director for a high tech performance of Alice Experiments in Wonderland and has helped with set construction, lighting and sound for many plays. Eliza also has fun performing at Universal Orlando theme parks as Olive Oyl and a Minion Recruit party dancer. Before coming to Orlando, Eliza received her A.S. degree in Interpreter Training for the Deaf and an A.A. degree in Psychology from Florida Community College at Jacksonville. In her spare time, Eliza enjoys stilt walking, yoga, riding roller coasters, modeling, photography, dancing, swimming, baking, writing poetry and spending time with family and friends.
Mike Deaven (Orin Dennis) - Mike is a recent graduate from the University of Central Florida with a B.A. degree in Theatre Studies. At UCF, Mike originated the role of The Investigator in The Unusual Suspects in the One Act Festival. He has also appeared as Ben in The Other F-Word and Ernst Janning in Judgment at Nuremberg in independent productions at UCF. Mike hails from the slightly colder state of Minnesota where he was involved in several community theatre productions including Titanic the Musical and Sweeney Todd. Recently, Mike has been acting in films at Full Sail University and doing voiceover work. He is excited to return to the stage as Orin in Children of a Lesser God, his first Beth Marshall Presents production.
Adrian LePeltier (Mr. Franklin) – Born and raised in Calcutta, India, Adrian attended and graduated (cum Laude) from The Pasadena Playhouse, Pasadena, California. After graduation Adrian moved to England performing with Wimbledon Repertory Theatre, Colchester Repertory Theatre and The Palace Theatre, Westcliffe on Sea.
From actor to dancer, Adrian also worked in cabaret production shows at “The Latin Quarter, The Talk of The Town” in London. Paris, Estoril (Portugal), Hong Kong, Reno, and Las Vegas, are all ports of call in Adrian’s dance career. Actor, dancer, and Assistant Company Manager are all titles Adrian was proud to be associated with. Add to that Show Director and Director of Concepts and Development at Universal Studios, Orlando and you pretty much have a complete picture of Adrian’s career.
Yes, there were televisions shows and films, but if you blinked, you missed Adrian! You just blinked!
Adrian’s Florida credits include: The Orlando Fringe Festival, Several Productions at Bay Street Players in Eustis, The Seagull at Mad Cow, The Giver at Orlando Repertory Theatre, and The Orlando Playfest. At present Adrian can be seen as A Wandkeeper at Ollivanders Wandshop at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal, Orlando.
Ava Tunstall (Mrs. Norman) – Ava is thrilled to be working with Beth Marshall Presents again, last having appeared for BMP in The Diviners and Prop 8 On Trial. A Florida native, she also has appeared in productions at The IceHouse Theater, Theater Downtown, Goring Play Festival, UCF and Seminole State.
Madison Graham (Lydia) – Madison began performing in her home town community theatre in Hardee County. Her first production was The Wizard of Oz as a Munchkin. She continued to perform there until graduation when she moved here to Orlando to pursue a degree in Theatre at UCF with a Minor in ASL. Madison has performed in Children of a Lesser God before at Breakthrough as Sara, and participated in the Fringe Festival in Dead Body Friendship. “I am so excited to be a part of Children again! It will be fun to take on a new role with this amazing group of people!”
Jamie Middleton (Edna Klein) - Jamie has been performing on stages across Florida for more than 20 years. Her previous productions with Beth Marshall Presents include The Diviners, A Christmas Carol, and Our Town, as well as Play-In-A-Day. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from UCF and has worked as an actress for Universal since 1995. She sends her love and gratitude to her husband, Stephen, and her two awesome children, Christian and Ariel. To Mom – keep fighting, you are amazing.
Ryan Vander Weide is 32 years old and Hard of Hearing. He was born in Grand Rapids, MI. When he was almost 4 years old, he moved to Florida where he was diagnosed with a profound hearing loss in his left ear and severe deafness in his right ear. He attended a self-contained deaf/ hard of hearing classroom as a kindergartener in a public school. After kindergarten, he was mainstreamed in the general education classroom until he graduated from high school. He knew very little sign language from his days in Kindergarten, which he regained when he started college where he began to study and get involved with the Deaf community. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Deaf Education from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, FL in 2008. He is currently a Deaf Educator at Astatula Elementary School in Lake County teaching K-2nd grade. He stays strongly involved in the Deaf Community by attending Silent Saturdays at Lake Eola, hosting Silent Saturday in Clermont, and is involved with the Hand and Voices of Florida. Hand and Voices is a nonprofit organization that provides resources for parents with a deaf or hard of hearing child as well as deaf parents. Ryan is fluent in American Sign Language and enjoys using ASL whenever possible. Ryan is married to his wonderful wife, Jenna, and is blessed and thankful to God for 7 great years! Ryan also has a beautiful 2-year-old daughter, Emma Victoria, who brings joy to both their lives. He feels blessed and grateful to be working with the cast members and the directors of Children of a Lesser God.
Joe Kramlinger is from Orlando and works as an engineer for a large defense company. Born deaf, Joe has prior experience with special-needs deaf students, teaching ASL courses, and has written/directed commercials in ASL to promote videophones. This is his first play since elementary school.