Music-Theatre Group Features Diane Paulus and Randy Weiner, 6/7
Music-Theatre Group has announced a special interview with Diane Paulus and Randy Weiner, to be moderated by Thomas Schumacher (Producer and President, Disney Theatrical Group) on Thursday, June 7th at the Dimenna Center for Classical Music (450 W. 37th Street between 9th and 10th) at 7:30 p.m.
Paulus and Weiner are alumni of Music-Theatre Group’s generative process of turning inspiration into art and enjoyed seminal moments in their early careers at Music-Theatre Group: Paulus, director of Diedre Murray and Cornelius Eady’s Running Man (finalist, 1999 Pulitzer Prize); Paulus and Weiner, Swimming With Watermelons (2000-01), Best Of Both Worlds, composed by Diedre Murray (2002-05), and Death And The Powers (finalist, 2012 Pulitzer Prize) with composer Tod Machover and librettist Robert Pinsky. Music-Theatre Group produced all of these works.
Diane Paulus is the Artistic Director at the A.R.T. At the A.R.T. her recent work includes The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, a new production adapted by Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, and OBIE-winning composer Diedre Murray; Prometheus Bound, a new musical inspired by Aeschylus's ancient Greek tragedy, written by Tony and Grammy Award-winner Steven Sater (Spring Awakening) with music composed by Grammy Award-winning System of a Down lead singer Serj Tankian; Death and The Powers: The Robots’ Opera, by Tod Machover and finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music, in collaboration with MIT Media Lab and Chicago Opera Theater; The Donkey Show a disco adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which ran for six years Off-Broadway and toured internationally; Best of Both Worlds, and Johnny Baseball. Her other recent theater credits include The Public Theater's Tony-Award winning revival of HAIR on Broadway, and London’s West End. Other recent work includes Kiss Me, Kate (Glimmerglass Opera) and Lost Highway (ENO co-production with the Young Vic.) As an opera director, her credits include The Magic Flute (Canadian Opera Company), Il mondo della luna at the Hayden Planetarium in New York; Don Giovanni, Le nozze di Figaro, Turn Of The Screw, Cosi fan tutte, and the Monteverdi trilogy Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, L’incoronazione di Poppea, and Orfeo at the Chicago Opera Theater. Diane is a Professor of the Practice of Theater in Harvard University’s English Department and was recently named one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Boston by Boston Magazine and is a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Boston Conservatory.
Randy Weiner is a theater producer and playwright. He is a leading impresario of non-traditional theater in New York and around the world. With partners Jonathan Hochwald and Arthur Karpati, Weiner is the producer of the Drama Desk Award winning, theatrical experience Punchdrunk's Sleep No More. With partners Simon Hammerstein and Richard Kimmel, Weiner created and continues to manage the variety theater-nightclub THE BOX in NYC and London. With his wife, Tony Award Nominated Director Diane Paulus, Weiner created The Donkey Show, a disco adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which has been produced in New York, London, Madrid, Geneva, Edinburgh, Helsinki, Seoul, and throughout the United States. For the amazing and indomitable Music-Theatre Group, Weiner collaborated with Diedre Murray and Diane Paulus to create the gospel musical The Best of Both Worlds, based on The Winter's Tale. For MTG in association with MIT Media Lab, Weiner collaborated with Tod Machover and Robert Pinsky to create the Pulitzer Prize Finalist Robot Opera, Death And The Powers. Weiner has collaborated with Cirque du Soleil on multiple occasions. He is currently the dramaturge for their new touring tent show, Amaluna. Weiner is the creator and Executive Producer of OBERON, the theater-nightclub that is the Second Stage for American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Weiner serves on the Advisory Committee on the Arts at Harvard University and has lectured on theater arts at Harvard, Columbia University, Barnard College, New York University, and Yale University.
Since 1988, Thomas Schumacher has worked with The Walt Disney Company setting new standards of excellence in film, television and theatre. Currently, he serves as President of Disney Theatrical Group where he oversees the development, creation and execution of all Disney live entertainment around the globe including Broadway, touring and licensed productions, as well as Disney on Ice and Disney Live! shows produced in partnership with Feld Entertainment. His Broadway, West End, touring and international production credits include Beauty and the Beast, King David, The Lion King, Der Glockner von Notre Dame, Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, On the Record, High School Musical, TARZAN®, Mary Poppins and The Little Mermaid along with several new projects currently in development. Disney Theatrical Group has an unprecedented global reach with over 15 Disney produced and licensed productions performing daily around the world. Intensely passionate about theatre from an early age, Schumacher recognized the impact that theatre has on the lives of young people and developed a licensing program with Music Theatre International to make select Disney theatrical titles available for performance in schools and amateur theatres throughout the world. Schumacher’s career at Disney began in Walt Disney Feature Animation producing the animated classic The Rescuers Down Under. He was ultimately named President and oversaw some 21 animated features including The Lion King, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan, Tarzan, and Lilo & Stitch, as well as working closely with Pixar on their first five films. Prior to joining Disney, he was associate director of the 1987 Los Angeles Festival of Arts, presenting the American premiere of Cirque du Soleil and the English-language premiere of Peter Brook’s The Mahabharta. Previously, he spent five years on staff at the Mark Taper Forum, served as a line producer on the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival, and served as assistant general manager of the Los Angeles Ballet. Mr. Schumacher is the author of the book How Does the Show Go On? An Introduction to the Theater as well as a member of the Board of Trustees for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the Tony® Administration Committee and the Advisory Committee of the American Theatre Wing. He is mentor for the TDF Open Doors program and serves as an adjunct professor at Columbia University.
Music-Theatre Group has held a singular place in the lives of culture-driven New Yorkers for 40 years. Under the leadership of Producing Director Diane Wondisford, and founded by Lyn Austin (1970), M-TG blurs the lines between music, theatre and opera. MT-G recently co-commissioned and co-produced the new opera Dark Sisters with Gotham Chamber Opera and Opera Company of Philadelphia. With music by Nico Muhly and libretto by Stephen Karam, Dark Sisters had its World Premiere at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College in November, 2011. Internationally renowned for its commitment to the creation of work that embraces new art forms, M-TG has produced a stunning roster of seminal works including Dr. Selavy’s Magic Theatre (1972) by Stanley Silverman and Richard Foreman; The Mother of Us All by Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein, directed by Roland Gagnon (1972) and Stanley Silverman (1983); Nightclub Cantata (1977) by Elizabeth Swados; The Garden of Earthly Delights (1984) by Martha Clarke and Richard Peaslee; The Making of Americans (1985) by Al Carmines and Gertrude Stein, directed by Anne Bogart; Vienna: Lusthaus (1986) by Martha Clarke, Richard Peaslee, and Charles Mee; Juan Darien (1988) by Julie Taymor and Elliot Goldenthal; Cinderella/Cendrillon (1988) by Jules Massenet, with additional lyrics by Eve Ensler, directed by Anne Bogart; Extraordinary Measures (1995) by Eve Ensler and William Harper, with James Lecesne; Marco Polo (1996) by Tan Dun and Paul Griffiths, directed by Martha Clarke; Running Man (1999) by Diedre Murray and Cornelius Eady, directed by Diane Paulus; and Arjuna’s Dilemma (2008) by Douglas J. Cuomo, directed by Robin Guarino. For more information, visit www.musictheatregroup.org.