Arrival & Departure

Written by Stephen Sachs
Directed by Stephen Sachs
Produced by Simon Levy, Deborah Culver, and James Bennett
Starring Jessica Jade Andres, Deanne Bray, Adam Burch, Brian Robert Burns, Shon Fuller, Kyra Kotsur, Troy Kotsur, Aurelia Myers, and Stasha Surdyke

CRITIC’S CHOICE! – Los Angeles Times


Arrival & Departure

written and directed by Stephen Sachs
inspired by the screenplay for Noël Coward’s Brief Encounter
starring: Deanne Bray and Troy Kotsur
with: Jessica Jade Andres, Adam Burch, Brian Robert Burns, Shon Fuller,
Kyra Kotsur, Aurelia Myers, and Stasha Surdyke
Previews: Wed July 11 –  Fri July 13
Opens: Sat July 14 – Sun Sept 30
Fri 8pm, Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm, Mon 8pm
(Kyra Kotsur will perform as Jule the weekend of September 7-10)
Link to Press Photos

CRITIC’S CHOICE!Los Angeles Times – “Moral and emotional conundrums add twist after twist to this sadly beautiful yet hopeful romance, which is gracefully directed by Sachs and GORGEOUSLY PERFORMED by Deanne Bray and Troy Kotsur… It is also boundlessly enriched by being performed in both spoken English and American Sign Language… [Troy] Kotsur performs in ASL, of which he is a master, his face as powerfully expressive as his hands. Using a hearing aid, [Deanne] Bray speaks as well as signs, delivering a breathtaking, heart-tugging performance. The other six members of the cast are hearing. Ensuring that no one in the audience misses a word, the piece inventively twines open captioning with signs and spoken words… For deaf and hard-of-hearing people to communicate, they must intently look at each other — seeing the whole individual and reading all of the cues being sent. Wouldn’t that would be a fine practice in all relationships?” – Daryl H. Miller

RAVE!Stage Raw – “This opportunity to experience a mainstream, theatrical performance that features American Sign Language so prominently is A RARE TREAT…It’s no surprise that Bray and Kotsur have such great chemistry onstage since these two engaging actors are actually married. Fuller is endearing as the lovesick Russell, and Andres brings heart to the tough-as-nails character of Mya. Brian Robert Burns energetically plays Emily’s religious zealot of a husband Doug, and Myers excellently conveys the frustrations of surviving middle school… one of the few shows completely inclusive of deaf, hard of hearing and hearing audience members alike.” – Julia Stier

RAVE! – BroadwayWorld – “BREATHTAKING!BEAUTIFULLY STAGED… casting is spot-on… a compelling picture of the human heart in action, in all its messy, emotional uncertainty… It’s a journey that speaks to us all.” – Ellen Dostal

RAVE!LA West Media/Santa Monica Mirror – “BRILLIANT!… Stephen Sachs has once again created a compelling, visually stunning playSuperbly envisioned by director Sachs, Nicholas E. Santiago’s video design masterfully creates the different settings… Bray’s performance is truly riveting as she captures the conflicted multi-layers of her character… Jessica Jade Andres gives a wonderful performance as this no-nonsense New Yorker who is being wooed by transit cop Russell, an endearing character playfully brought to life by Shon Fuller… Sam, magically played by Troy Kotsur… Once again, Sachs has scored a hit with this SUPERB PRODUCTION which will make you laugh, and might even bring a little tear to your eye.” – Beverly Cohn

RAVE!StageSceneLAWOW!… “a c0mpelling, excitingly staged, terrifically acted Fountain Theatre World Premiere… Arrival & Departure’s pluses are many under Sachs’ dynamic direction, first and foremost the chance to see real-life marrieds Kotsur and Bray delivering performances rarely seen on L.A. stages… Last but not least, The Fountain deserves major kudos simply for including Arrival & Departure in a mainstream theater season and for casting actors reflective of today’s America… the latest from the Fountain once again proves the venerable L.A. theater company one of SoCal’s finest.” – Steven Stanley

RAVE!People’s World – “AN ENTRANCING AND UPLIFTING RIDE!… Sachs has taken the story [of Brief Encounter] to new, revelatory levels… lovely video projections… ingenious stage set… The entire production is accessible to both deaf and hearing audiences… And such a gift to be able to enter the non-hearing world in this INVITING PIECE OF THEATRE.” – Eric A. Gordon

RAVE!On Stage and ScreenKOTSUR AND BRAY [ ] ARE MAGNETIC TO WATCH… All of the characters in the piece are thoughtfully drawn… It is wonderful to see Bray and Kotsur, two talented deaf actors, get to tell this story, giving deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons accessible theater and hopefully teaching hearing audience members something about deaf culture and communication barriers they may not encounter in their everyday lives.” – Erin Conley

RAVE!On Stage Los Angeles – “I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS PRODUCTION!… Excellent acting… wonderful projections… I had high expectations for this important play to discuss hearing issues as well as the ideals of commitment and scruples. What does one do when lightning strikes us directly in the heart? Arrival and Departure does not disappoint. It is a kind and insightful story of love.” – Michael Sheehan

RAVE!UStheater, Opera, and Performance – “VIBRANT… passionately expressed conversations with an ever-constant use of hands, arms, and eyes… transforms [Brief Encounter] into a completely American drama.” – Douglas Messerli

RAVE!Theatre Ghost – “LOVINGLY CONCEIVED adaptation of a classic tale, and a well-wrought piece of theatre… Sachs’ direction and Gary Franco’s movement direction create a playful dance of constantly shifting energy… Kudos go to the design team… a lively, often complex comic drama.” – Mark Hein

RAVE! – “AN AMAZINGLY EVOCATIVE ADAPTATION… Sachs also contributes a fine directorial eye… innovative and important… simply nothing short of brilliant.” – Travis Michael Holder

RAVE!Discover Hollywood – “EXCEPTIONAL COMBINATION OF ACTORS AND SCRIPT!… tremendous talent… Mr. Sachs is obviously at the top of his game as both writer and director… The staging, design, integration of supertitles and ASL, never gets ahead of the audience. The Fountain creative team, too many to list here, balance storytelling, design, and technology to create art.” – Bill Garry

RAVE! – The Los Angeles Beat – “THEATRE AT ITS BEST!… an exquisitely acted, deeply moving, must-see play written by award-winning playwright, director, producer and co-artistic director of the Fountain Theatre Stephen Sachs… Using a hearing aid, Bray speaks as well as signs and her performance is breathtaking. At the same time, Troy’s  signing is absolutely stunning. I felt as if I was watching great ballet dancers. Both of them present some of the best work I’ve seen on a stage in a very, very long time… I could go on and on about this fantastic play, but all I really want to say is…Go see it!” – Joan Alperin

RAVE!LA Splash – “POWERFUL AND SPINE-TINGLING!… Director Stephen Sachs helms the cast with compassion and keen attention to detail… the entire production team does an excellent job of keeping the stage flexible, lively, and fascinating… a brilliant study of belonging, as well as an entertaining and fascinating look at being separate and together.” – Elaine Mura

RAVE!Culver City News – “UNFORGETTABLE!… incredible emotion… marvelous… brilliant direction… The play is performed by Hearing and Deaf actors in a fully integrated, unique blend of open captioning, American Sign Language and spoken English, plus text projections which allow all audience members to enjoy the play in ways that literally “speak” to them.” – Shari Barrett

RAVE!Santa Monica Daily Press – “AMAZING!WONDERFUL!… Sachs’ romantic drama stars Troy Kotsur and Deanne Bray, two amazing performers who were born deaf, are married in real life, and can exhibit more emotion communicating in American Sign Language than many actors do shouting at the top of their lungs. And as they sign, their words are voiced simultaneously by Adam Burch and Stasha Surdyke, two equally fine actors… As director, Sachs has added dazzling accoutrements that keep the action moving… extraordinary video design of Nicholas Santiago… In short, Stephen Sachs has provided every imaginable detail to make this enchanting story another artistic triumph. Noel Coward would be so proud! – Cynthia Citron

RAVE!Will Call – “UTTERLY UNIQUE!BRILLIANTLY DONE!… you’ll be captivated by this updated version of a love story that might have been… This is a show that does justice to Fountain Theatre’s reputation for quality, reliability and stimulating repertoire. You won’t be disappointed.” – Ingrid Wilmot

The world premiere of a re-imagined modern-day stage adaptation of the classic 1945 film, Brief Encounter. A Deaf man and a hard-of-hearing woman, married to different people, meet accidentally in a New York City subway station. Their casual friendship soon develops into deeper feelings they never expected, forcing both to confront how their simmering relationship will change their lives and damage the lives of those they love forever. An unforgettable love story inspired by one of the most beloved romantic movies of all time.

Performed by Hearing and Deaf actors in a fully integrated, unique blend of Open Captioning, American Sign Language and Spoken English. Accessible to all audiences.

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Arrival & Departure

Creative Team:

Producers: Simon Levy, Deborah Culver, James Bennett
Playwright/Director: Stephen Sachs
Production Stage Manager: Emily Lehrer
ASL Assistant Stage Manager: Brian M. Cole
ASM Board Operator: Deena Tovar
Technical Director: Scott Tuomey
Set Designer: Matthew G. Hill
Video Designer: Nicholas E. Santiago
Prop Master: Michael Navarro
Lighting Designer: Donny Jackson
Sound Designer: Peter Bayne
Costume Designer: Michael Mullen
Costume Maintenance: Terri Roberts
Movement Director: Gary Franco
ASL Master: Jevon Whetter
ASL Master: Lisa Hermatz
ASL Rehearsal Interpreter: Andrew Leyva
ASL Rehearsal Interpreter: Valerie Lines
Summer Intern: Saif Saigol


Marlee Matlin Hails “Arrival & Departure” – August 10, 2018

KUCI – Live Opening Night Interviews – August 3, 2018

BroadwayWorld – Photo Flash – July 13, 2018

Link to Press Photos – July 13, 2018

Cultural Attache – 5 Shows to See – July 13, 2018

Ventura County Star – “Deaf Actors from Oak Park” – July 12, 2018

Orange County Register – Deanne Bray & Troy Kotsur – July 10, 2018

Los Angeles Times – Highlighted Openings – July 9, 2018

Intimate/Excellent – Blog Post – July 6, 2018

KCRW – listing – July 6, 2018

Time Out Los Angeles – 5 L.A. Theater Productions You Should See in July – July 2, 2018

Los Feliz Ledger – Listing – June 29, 2018

This Stage Magazine – Article & Video – June 21, 2018

Broadway World – press release – June 14, 2018

Broadway World “The Hot List” – May 30, 2018