September 12, 2006 > Silent Salzburg
by Richard Medugno
Silent Salzburg, a new play by "Deaf Daughter, Hearing Father" author Richard Medugno, will receive a work-in-progress staging at the California School for the Deaf's Little Theatre in Fremont. Silent Salzburg is the story of an Austrian Christian family that goes into hiding in 1940 Salzburg to protect their deaf teenage son from sterilization or worse by the Nazi's. Though the plot is not based on a true story, many of the play's events are based upon historical circumstances.
The full-length drama features six characters, two of which are deaf and played by high school students who attend California School for the Deaf Fremont (CSDF). Serving as director of the production is professional, deaf actress, Megg Davis. A veteran of the National Theatre for the Deaf and Deaf West Theatre in Los Angeles, Ms. Davis communicates to the cast in both American Sign Language (ASL) and voice.
"The play will be accessible to both deaf and hearing audiences," states Ms. Davis, who has a three year old daughter who attends CSDF. "We are going to have ASL interpreters shadowing the hearing actors and, when deaf actors are signing, we will have characters on stage voicing for them. Bringing a new play to life that is written specifically for both deaf and hearing audiences and with a subject matter that is historical but still resonates today."
Medugno, a Fremont resident, says he was inspired to write Silent Salzburg when he thought about Anne Frank and her family and how using sign language in a hiding situation could be a huge benefit. "I also thought about the irony of a Christian family who might have been supporters of the Nazis and Hitler being confronted with a difficult choice when their own child is marked for treatment or extermination because of a disability," said Medugno.
The cast includes Heidi Burns of Fremont, a CSDF elementary teacher, Butch Welby of Fremont, Michelle Foletta, a senior at Washington High School, and CSDF students Dack Virnig of San Jose and Miranda Medugno of Fremont.
All seats are $10 and may be purchased online at www.dcara.org or from CSDF's Outreach Department at (510) 794-3707. Tickets may also be purchased at the theatre box office stating 30 minutes before the show.
Friday, September 22
Saturday, September 23
2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 24
California School for the Deaf Little Theatre
39350 Gallaudet Drive, Fremont