Community & Friends

Studio 1 uses sign language to enhance ‘Three Musketeers’

Posted on Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 by CommunityEngagement. Tags: , , ,
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 Matt Baccari, from left, Kyle Southern, Christian Moore, Dale Johnson, Jay Nauman, Michael King, Jacob Larkin and Richard Watkins Jr. star in a scene from Studio 1’s “The Three Musketeers, A Sign-Language Shadowed Production.” The play runs today through Sunday at Sara McMillan Brown Theatre at Studio 1 in Burlington. 


There’s something beautiful and mesmerizing about sign language. The way it’s communicated to an audience, it feels like interpretive dance with the fingers. The beauty behind sign language is apparent in “The Three Musketeers, A Sign-Language Shadowed Production” was performed in the Sara McMillan Brown Theatre at Studio 1, 1332 Plaza Drive, Burlington.

Based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas and adapted for the stage by Family Playhouse, the 90-minute show featured “shadow” actors who interpreted the dialogue for the deaf or hard-of-hearing. The interpreters, from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s (UNCG) Professions in Deafness program, were all dressed in black and not only imitated some of the same facial expressions and movements of the principal actors but also became part of the show. Glenda Torres and Lynne Buchanan Allen, interpreter instructors at

UNCG, had not only watched several of Studio 1’s rehearsals but had taped some of them so that their students could interpret the show.

“It’s really been an incredible experience,” said artistic director Tami Kress prior to the dress rehearsal on Tuesday. “It’s so beautiful.”

The show takes place from 1625 to 1628 in various locations in France and England and features the Three Musketeers — Aramis (Christian Moore), Porthos (Jay Nauman) and Athos (Dale Johnson); Hannah Ficklin serves as narrator.
While the sword-wielding musketeers made up a big part of the show, there was romance, too. D’Artagnan, (Kyle Southern) a swordsman who is smitten with Constance Bonacieux (Kaylee Kress) and Queen Anne of Austria (Angelica Sumner) has caught the eye of the Duke of Buckingham (Jonathan Dix), much to the chagrin of her husband, King Louis XIII (Stephen Lester). Cardinal Richelieu (Jack Nauman) is the powerful antagonist of the show, but it is Milady de Winter (Kate Dahlquist), an evil temptress, who steals the show.
Fight coordinator Dale Girard had orchestrated action-packed swordfighting scenes. Costume designer Heather Newberry’s period costumes were so good, in fact,  it was difficult to recognize Stephen Lester behind the hair and makeup.

Reposted from thetimesnews