WeildWorks is excited to announce that we are participating in the inaugural season of New York Live Arts/Live Ideas Festival celebrating the Worlds of Oliver Sacks. Our production of Pinter’s A Kind of Alaska based on Sacks’s book Awakenings will feature Terrylene, Lewis Merkin and Alexandria Wailes directed by Kim Weild. This remarkable evening opens with a voiced-ASL interpreted version of the play directed by Karen Kohlhaas, followed by the premiere of acclaimed experimental filmmaker Bill Morrison’s new film created from footage of Dr. Sacks at work and accompanied by a score by acclaimed composer Philip Glass. The evening culminates with our historic and full ASL production. Performances are April 20th at 8pm and April 21st at 3:30pm. For tickets go to our ticket page.
Throughout this week-long festival there will be various ASL interpreted and captioned events. We will be listing all of these on our ASL/Captioned Events page so be sure to check in there regularly as new events are listed.
We can’t wait to share this exciting event with you!
In the early decades of the Twentieth Century, a mysterious disease appeared and cast a spell on its victims. For some, the spell was momentary, others passed away and still others languished for decades in an almost comatose state save for intermittent utterances or movements.
Thirty years after encephalitis lethargica mysteriously appeared a drug developed for Parkinson’s is given to a group of patients, and what seems like a miraculous remission occurs. Patients wake, laugh, speak, become themselves again. But devastatingly, the action of the drug is unreliable, and patients are eventually re-entombed in their own stiffened bodies.
In 1972, Dr. Sacks published his book Awakenings detailing his work with patients suffering from encephalitis lethargica. Pinter, fascinated by Sacks’s account wrote A Kindof Alaska as an exploration of one patient’s unvoiced thoughts, feelings and awakening.
Join us on April 20th and 21st as we lift the veil from Deborah’s 30 year sleep and observe how she struggles to orient herself, a child in an adult’s body, perplexed, distraught yet filled with wonder.
In this landmark ASL production, we weave three forms of sign language together highlighting the passage of time within in the play and as a way, to subtly pay homage to the struggle and movement for recognition of ASL as language in its own right in America which Dr. Saks wrote about so eloquently in his book Seeing Voices.