New Jersey Stage

Friday, December 10, 2010

Cape May Stage Offers a Sign-Interpreted Performance for The Little Prince

(Cape May, NJ) - Cape May Stage, Cape May's premier professional Equity theatre, with the generous support of PNC Arts Alive, is proud to announce a spectacular evening of live theatre on Wednesday, December 29.  Theatrical interpreters for the Deaf Celeste Herse and Anne Maselli will interpret the Stage's 8:00 pm performance of one of the world's best-loved tales, The Little Prince. The ASL signed performance will take place at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse at Bank and Lafayette Streets.

Herse, a local interpreter in the South Jersey area, is thrilled to return to the Stage this fall after previously interpreting several of the Stage's productions last season.  "I love theater because it takes you to different places and signing performances is such a unique experience. As an interpreter, not only do you have to listen, but also translate and communicate each emotion like an actor to make the story come alive," explains Herse.  Herse will be joined on stage with theatrical interpreter and colleague, Anne Maselli. "Having a partner to work with on stage creates great interaction.  It's more meaningful for the Deaf to see two people interpreting and it's a lot of fun," states Herse.

Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry's simple tale of a wayward prince has become one of the most beloved stories of all time, having been translated from the original French into over 180 languages, spawning scores of adaptations, including multiple films, songs, and at least one opera.  Ostensibly a children's story, the prince's travels throughout the universe bring him into contact with several flawed adults, each of whom bears a condemnable character defect.  From the King who believes he can control the stars by commanding them to travel their paths in the sky to the Drunkard who drinks to forget that he is ashamed of his drinking, from the Conceited Man who cannot hear anything that is not a compliment to the Geographer who spends his life at his desk drawing maps of places he'll never see, each of these characters bear regrettable traits we might find in our own inventory if we search hard enough.  Only the Lamplighter, the sole resident of an asteroid that oscillates between dark and night once a minute, is considered noble, as the prince sees in his charge to light the lamp each night to be a noble endeavor – the Lamplighter places something other than himself at the center of his universe.  The prince eventually travels to Earth, where he learns valuable lessons about individuality and love, and the responsibilities involved therein.  His adventures on Earth bring to bear a harsh mirror to the human existence, commenting on the futility of the rat race and the disconnect we share with one another.  In the end, The Little Prince presents to us an unmistakable plea to keep what's important in life close to your heart.

This new adaptation by John Scoullar and Rick Cummins is directed and conceived by Scott Hitz, and features puppets by multiple Emmy Award-winning designer Michael Schupbach of Jim Henson's Muppet Workshop.

PNC Financial Services Group is the presenting sponsor of Cape May Stage's ASL Interpreted Performance. The support is part of PNC Arts Alive, a five-year, $5 million investment from The PNC Foundation to help area residents gain access to the arts, and help arts organizations expand and engage audiences.

The Little Prince featuring theatrical interpreters is scheduled for Wednesday, December 29 at 8:00 PM. at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse at the corner of Bank & Lafayette Streets in downtown Cape May.   Performances are November 26 through December 31, 2010, Thursdays –Sundays, 8PM Saturdays & Sundays, 3PM.  Tickets are $35 adults ($40 on Saturday evenings), $30 seniors, and $12.50 students. Call (609) 884-1341 for reservations and information or visit the theatre's Web site,

This production is generously sponsored by the Blue Pig Tavern at Congress Hall and The Ebbitt Room at the Virginia.  This season's sponsors include 410 Bank Street/Frescos, Exit Zero, The Washington Inn, Cape May Winery, and Lucky Bones.