The cast of Private Jones at Goodspeed Musicals will feature a group of Deaf, hearing, and hard-of-hearing actors. Inspired by the true story of a Deaf World War I soldier, the new musical is written and directed by Marshall Pailet (Who's Your Baghdaddy), with performances running October 13–November 5 at the Connecticut company's Terris Theatre. Opening night is November 1.
Johnny Link (Baby) will star as Private Gomer Jones, with Claire Neumann (Who's Your Baghdaddy?) as Jack King, Leanne Antonio (The Lion King) as Gwenolyn and Evans, and Vincent Kempski as Edmund. The ensemble will feature David Aron Damane, Alex De Bard, Brandon Espinoza, Dickie Hearts, Amelia Hensley, George Psomas, Jon-Michael Reese, and Emily Steinhardt. Additional casting is by JZ Casting.
ASL interpretation and open captioning will be available at matinee performances October 14, 19, and 25; and the October 27 evening performance. The ASL interpreter will be available before the show, during intermission, and after the show to answer questions and provide support for Deaf and hard-of-hearing audience members.
Pailet's creative team includes choreographer Misha Shields, music director Myrna Conn, Director of Artistic Sign Language Alexandria Wailes, scenic designers Christopher and Justin Swader, costume designer Phương Nguyễn, lighting designer Jen Schriever, sound designer Jay Hilton, orchestrator Ryan O'Connell, and puppet designer Nicholas Mahon. Mysti Stay will be production stage manager.
"Goodspeed has supported the development of Private Jones throughout its lifespan," says Goodspeed Artistic Director Donna Lynn Hilton. "The musical was conceived at our Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Grove on the Goodspeed campus in 2019, presented in Goodspeed’s 2020 Festival of New Musicals, continued developing through creative workshops since and will now make its stage debut at The Terris Theatre. We are honored to support Marshall’s vision for this groundbreaking new musical."