Analysis Of The Movie ' Broadway Awakening ' By Michael Arden

791 Words Oct 26th, 2015 4 Pages
Despite theatre’s history of inclusivity of many marginalized groups (especially the gay community), Broadway has remained largely inaccessible to disabled artists and audience members. This year, seeking to reach a wider audience, Los Angeles-based theatre company Deaf West brought their production of the musical Spring Awakening, led by director Michael Arden and fully performed in American Sign Language as well as spoken and sung in English, to Broadway. With its cast of Deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing actors came Ali Stroker, the first wheelchair-using performer in Broadway history. She is a bisexual and differently abled actress, singer, dancer, and advocate. In an interview with Kristin Russo, host of First Person (PBS Digital’s series about the LGBTQ community), Stroker shares her feelings about the narrow nature of identity categories, the risks of letting a label define you, and the importance of embracing differing abilities and sexuality. One main idea Stroker expresses is her hesitation to use identity categories because of their limiting nature. She describes her initial uncertainty about her identity when recounting her first relationship with a woman. When others asked whether or not she was gay, Stroker would respond that she did not know, but that she was in love (Russo et al. 2015). She emphasizes being in love, rather than the gender of her partner. She goes on to say that labels are not “really her thing” because she feels that they sell people short:…

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