“CODA” is heading to the stage following its history-making awards run. A musical adaptation of Sian Heder’s second feature is in the works from the film’s co-producers, Vendôme Pictures and Pathé, in partnership with LA-based company Deaf West Theatre, per Deadline. Deaf West Theater is “known for its expressive melding of sign language and spoken English to create such acclaimed productions as the Tony Award winning ‘Big River’ (2004) and the Tony-nominated ‘Spring Awakening’ (2016).”
No details about the stage musical, including its cast and creative teams, have been announced yet, nor has a timeline.
Written and directed by Heder, “CODA” tells the story of an aspiring singer who is the only hearing member in her Deaf family.
“In the movie there is a scene where the Deaf members of the Rossi family, confronted with an inaccessible school performance, take in Ruby’s song through the joy of others in the audience. This is an opportunity, then, to bring the story full circle by bringing it back to members of the Deaf community and by making the music accessible through our signed and sung live adaptation of the movie,” said DJ Kurs, Artistic Director of Deaf West Theatre. He added, “It is in the mission of our organization to be the artistic bridge between the Deaf and hearing communities and we are truly excited and honored to embark on this live iteration of a story that brings together both sides of the aisle and addresses the ways that we move throughout the world.”
“CODA” made its world premiere at the 2021 edition of Sundance Film Festival, where it made history as the first film to sweep the top U.S. Dramatic Prizes. It scored a record-breaking $25 million deal from Apple out of the fest. The coming-of-age story has collected accolade after accolade this awards season, including the top honor at the PGA Awards, the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures. It made history as the first film with a predominantly Deaf cast to top SAG’s Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture category.
The film is up for three Oscars: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay (Heder), and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Troy Kotsur). Kotsur is making history as the first Deaf actor to be nominated in his category. He’s already won honors at the SAG, BAFTA, and Critics Choice Awards for his performance.