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  • Anita Riggio

Hear me about HEAR ME

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Hello, Friend--

For those of you who've been following the development of HEAR ME, formerly titled BRINDLEBEAST, it's been quite a long time since you've had any news about it from me. This ia partly due to COVID, and our inability to gather. But my silence about it is also because I've been giving the script and the process of producing this musical, a rest--and a much needed break.

Some of you know that I began musing about BRINDLEBEAST, the musical that became HEAR ME, in 2007 after the National Theater of the Deaf asked me to adapt a picturebook that I'd written and illustrated, Beware the Brindlebeast, into a stage play for in honor of NTD's 40th anniversary. Directed first by @MyraWeinbaum, then by @AaronKubey, I was so thrilled by the performances of these wonderful actors, particularly @IanSanborn as the "Brindlebeast," it stirred the embers of my long held passion for theatre, particularly musical theatre.

I remember very clearly being in my studio one evening, and tearfully asking myself: If you had time left for just one more creative project, what would it be?

The answer came immediately: Create a musical.

I laughed out loud. Oh, suuuuuuuuure! I thought. Jump from the frying pan (making children's books) into the fire, why don't you?!

At that time, I happened to be working on behalf of NTD with @ZitaChristian at The Bushnell. One afternoon, Zita brought me backstage where we watched a show loading in; I was thrilled, mesmerized. Afterward, in the freight elevator, I startled myself by saying out loud, "I'd love to make a musical."

In that moment, I was sure Zita would laugh--but she didn't.

Instead, she said, "Why not? Why not you?"

Why not me, indeed?

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