Playwrights Horizons And NYTW Present THE SHAGGS: PHILOSOPHY OF THE WORLD Musical, Spring 2011
Playwrights Horizons (Artistic Director, Tim Sanford; Managing Director, Leslie Marcus) and New York Theatre Workshop (Artistic Director, James C. Nicola; Managing Director, William Russo) have announced that they will co-produce THE SHAGGS: PHILOSOPHY OF THE WORLD, a new musical with book by Joy Gregory; music by Gunnar Madsen; lyrics by Ms. Gregory and Mr. Madsen; and story by Ms. Gregory, Mr. Madsen and John Langs. Directed by Mr. Langs, the co-production by the two non-profit theaters will be presented at Playwrights Horizons in spring 2011 as the musical's New York premiere.
Set in Fremont, New Hampshire in the early '70s, THE SHAGGS is based on the true story of a working class dad who has a vision of rock n' roll destiny for his three talentless daughters, convinced they're his family's one-way ticket out of hardship and obscurity. But the girls have ideas of their own - and as their father's ambition turns to obsession, the price of familial obligation becomes all too clear.
With THE SHAGGS, Playwrights Horizons and New York Theatre Workshop continue their commitment to developing unique and ground-breaking new musicals. At Playwrights Horizons, these include Grey Gardens, James Joyce's The Dead, Floyd Collins, Assassins, Once on This Island and Sunday in the Park with George, and at New York Theatre Workshop these include Rent; The Seven; Bright Lights, Big City; and Songs From an Unmade Bed. This production will mark the first time the two award-winning theaters have co-produced together.
As part of Playwrights Horizons' 2010/2011 40th Anniversary Season, THE SHAGGS joins Edward Albee's Me, Myself & I, the New York premiere of a new play by Mr. Albee, directed by Emily Mann and starring Elizabeth Ashley and Brian Murray; After the Revolution, a new play by Amy Herzog, directed by Carolyn Cantor; A Small Fire, a new play by Adam Bock, directed by Trip Cullman; Kin, a new play by Bathsheba Doran, directed by Sam Gold; and Go Back to Where You Are, a new play written by and featuring David Greenspan, directed by Leigh Silverman.
As part of New York Theatre Workshop's 2010/2011 Season, THE SHAGGS joins Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes, starring Elizabeth Marvel and directed by Ivo van Hove; Three Pianos, written, arranged, and performed by Rick Burkhardt, Alec Duffy, and Dave Malloy, and directed by Rachel Chavkin; and Peter and the Starcatchers, a new play by Rick Elice, directed by Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, based upon the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.
Playwrights Horizons' season productions are generously supported by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.
Playwrights Horizons is supported in part by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New
York State Assembly and the New York State Senate. In addition, Playwrights Horizons receives major support from the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Shubert Foundation and Time Warner Inc.
New York Theatre Workshop receives public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Lead support for NYTW productions is provided by the William and Mary Greve Foundation, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, and The Shubert Foundation.
Joy Gregory (Book, Lyrics & Story) is a Los Angeles-based playwright, director and television writer and producer. She's a founding member of Chicago's Lookingglass Theater Company, where her two most recently produced works were The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World and Race: How Blacks and Whites Think and Feel About the American Obsession, a co-adaptation with David Schwimmer of the book by Studs Terkel (Jefferson nomination, Best Adaptation). Dear Charlotte, her play about Charlotte Bront?, was selected for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and has since been produced in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Brisbane, Australia. Her television credits include writing for the series "Trust Me," "Swingtown," "Jericho," "Windfall," "The Nine," "Joan of Arcadia" and "Felicity." She is a member of the playwrights collective Dog Ear.
Gunnar Madsen (Music, Lyrics & Story) is a composer, writer, actor, singer and director. He's written for the Minnesota Opera, Lincoln Center, Universal Pictures and NPR. As a performer he's appeared on "The Tonight Show," "The Smothers Brothers Show," PBS, BBC and major stages in North America and Europe. He's been nominated for a Grammy, a Bammy and an Izzy, and won awards from ASCAP, the LA Weekly, the LA Drama Critics Circle and the Bay Area Theater Critics Circle. He founded the internationally acclaimed a capella group The Bobs, and for ten years was a driving creative force in their success. His family CDs, Old Mr. Mackle Hackle, Ants in My Pants! and I'm Growing have won virtually every major award for children's music. He provided the singing voice for the portrayal of Sammy Davis, Jr. in the film The Rat Pack, and his music is featured throughout the second season of HBO's "Sex and the City." He and his music are in the Vince Vaughan/Jennifer Aniston film The Break Up.
John Langs (Direction & Story) has directed productions for Empty Space (Seattle), American Players Theatre (Wisconsin), Theatre Alliance (D.C.), Circle X Theatre (Los Angeles) and The Washington Ensemble Theatre (Seattle), as well as workshops at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, Audrey Skirbal Kennis Foundation and Seattle Dramatists. He has served as Artistic Director for The Full Contact Shakespeare Company of Sacramento, The Golden Mean Theater Company of Los Angeles, Maui Onstage in Hawaii and is currently an Associate Artist at the Seattle Shakespeare Company, where he has directed productions of King Lear and Romeo and Juliet. In L.A., John helmed the production of the Neurotic Young Urbanites award-winning musical Up the Week Without a Paddle. He received a BackStage West Garland Award for his direction of The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World, which moved on to a Joseph Jefferson-nominated production at the Lookingglass Theatre Company of Chicago. John's 2006 production of The Brothers Karamazov was honored with seven LA Drama Critics Circle awards including Best Production and Best Direction.
Playwrights Horizons, under the leadership of Artistic Director Tim Sanford and Managing Director Leslie Marcus, is a writer's theater dedicated to the support and development of contemporary American Playwrights, composers and lyricists, and to the production of their new work. Heading into its 40th Anniversary Season, Playwrights Horizons has presented the work of more than 375 writers and has received numerous awards and honors, including a special 2008 Drama Desk Award for "ongoing support to generations of theater artists and undiminished commitment to producing new work." Notable productions include four Pulitzer Prize winners: Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife (2004 Tony Award, Best Play), Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles (1989 Tony Award, Best Play), Alfred Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy and Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park with George, as well as Annie Baker's Circle Mirror Transformation (three 2010 Obie Awards including Best New American Play), Bruce Norris' Clybourne Park, Melissa James Gibson's This (2010 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist), Doug Wright, Scott Frankel and Michael Korie's Grey Gardens (three 2007 Tony Awards), Craig Lucas's Prayer For My Enemy and Small Tragedy (2004 Obie Award, Best American Play), Adam Rapp's Kindness, Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins, Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone, Bruce Norris's The Pain and the Itch, Lynn Nottage's Fabulation (2005 Obie Award for Playwriting), Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero, David Greenspan's She Stoops to Comedy (2003 Obie Award), Kirsten Childs's The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (2000 Obie Award), Richard Nelson and Shaun Davey's James Joyce's The Dead, William Finn's March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, Christopher Durang's Betty's Summer Vacation