Murrieta Valley High School ASL Production of “Aladdin”


Marley Mittleman, Writer

Murrieta Valley High School recently finished their theater production of the musical Aladdin. Though the actors and singers were truly talented, what made this show unique was its inclusion of American Sign Language which made the presentation deaf and hearing impaired friendly. 

Each character in the show was assigned a shadow character that wore the same costume and had the same lines, though rather than speaking the lines, they would sign them. Dale, an audience member, said that at first he thought the double character casting might be distracting and take away from the show, but by the end he found himself more enthralled with the signers than with the speakers. According to Dale, an audience member, signers for Jasmine and Aladdin had so much chemistry and signed with such emotion that it even brought him to tears during the song “A Whole New World”.

What made the show even more powerful was that the signers and speakers for each character took turns being center stage, it emphasized the importance of both roles and made them both feel essential to the show rather than just having signers on the sides of the stage. 

Nolan, who played the speaking role of Aladdin’s friend Omar, said that this play was one of the highlights of his experience in drama. He described how the cast seemed more connected and friendly in this show as they all learned together how to incorporate new things into their play. 

The play was performed 10 times, and was even performed for a deaf school from Riverside. The impact this play left on the community was more than just entertainment, it made those with hearing impairments feel seen and valued as they were able to participate in theater in a way that is not always available for them.