The Three Musketeers
Studio 1 uses sign language to enhance ‘Three Musketeers’
By Charity Apple / Times-News
Posted Nov. 20, 2014 at 12:01 AM
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” being performed today through Sunday 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 features “shadow” actors who interpret 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, are all dressed in black and not only imitate some of the same facial expressions and movements of the principal actors but they become part of the show. Glenda Torres and Lynne Buchanan Allen, interpreter instructors at UNCG, have not only watched several of Studio 1’s rehearsals but 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 make up a big part of the show, there’s 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 has orchestrated action-packed swordfighting scenes that will have you on the edge of your seat. Costume designer Heather Newberry’s period costumes are so good, in fact, that it’s difficult to recognize Stephen Lester behind the hair and makeup.
An action-packed, dramatic show with fast-paced dialogue makes “The Three Musketeers” a must-see. Hurry, though, because it’s only being performed for one weekend.