Center Stage Theatre in Shelton will embark into the world of the deaf with their upcoming production of “Mother Hicks’’, which opens Friday, Oct 2. The play features a deaf character, which will be played by deaf actor, Joseph Ronan of West Haven. The production will also feature two performances, on Oct. 2 and Oct. 15, which will utilize interpreters, who will sign the entire play for interested deaf patrons.
“We are having the experience of a lifetime with this play,” said Center Stage director, Gary Scarpa. “Besides having the good fortune to have a wonderful deaf actor in our cast, we also have an American Sign Language consultant, Diane Gamse of Monroe, to assist us with a very wonderful play. In the process, we have learned a great deal about sign language and about communicating with the deaf.”
An award winning play by Suzan Zeder, “Mother Hicks” places the audience in the town of Ware, Illinois during the Great Depression, according to a press release. The play features three people living on the outskirts of society: a young deaf man, an orphan girl, and a mysterious older woman who lives all alone on a hill outside of town. The year, 1935, is hard for everyone, but especially for the girl, who—with no family of her own—gets passed around from household to household, until, with the help of a caring young, deaf man, she encounters the eccentric but nurturing Mother Hicks. Mother Hicks touches the heart of this lost little girl, helping her to find herself. A play for the entire family, “Mother Hicks” recounts the difficult journey we all make in life, the journey to discover who we really are.
Joining Ronan in lead roles are Shelton Intermediate School student, Ainsley Lougal, as “Girl” and East Haven resident, Joyce Piscitelli, as Mother Hicks. Other Shelton residents include Margaret Mikan, Justin Zenchuk, Justine Critchley, Rainey Martovich, Colby Trembley, Ben Souza, and Bobby Marcinauskis
Ronan said, “I’m really excited to be playing a role in this great production. I think it will give the audience an idea of what it’s like to be deaf and misunderstood. We have an awesome cast, and the play is very perceptive and moving.”
Performances will take place on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. from October 2nd through Oct. 17; Sundays at 2 p.m. on Oct. 4, 11, and 18; and Thursday at 7 p.m. on October 15.
Center Stage Theatre is a non-profit organization, founded in 2005 by directors Gary and Francesca Scarpa. The theatre presents a full season of five productions. Center Stage’s purpose is to enhance the cultural environment within its community; to present high quality theatrical productions at affordable prices; to encourage growth and education through the performing arts; and to provide a means for interested adults, teens and children to experience and participate in various aspects of live theater.
Center Stage is located at the former Lafayette School at 54 Grove Street. For further information about “Mother Hicks” or Center Stage, visit www.centerstageshelton.org or call 203-225-6079.