Steven Sater & Duncan Sheik's THE NIGHTINGALE to Play La Jolla Playhouse in July
La Jolla Playhouse just announced that The Nightingale, by the creative team behind the Tony Award-winning musical Spring Awakening: Steven Sater (book and lyrics) and Duncan Sheik (music), directed by Tony Award nominee Moisés Kaufman (33 Variations), will be part of The Playhouse's 2012/2013 season. Running in the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre July 10 – August 5, 2012, The Nightingale will be presented as part of The Playhouse's acclaimed Page To Stage Play Development Program.
"The Nightingale is a vibrant new musical project from a creative dream team with deep roots at The Playhouse," said Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley. "Giving them this opportunity to develop their work as part of our Page To Stage program once again demonstrates our commitment to serve as a home for artists to create new work in an unfettered, nurturing environment."
A compelling contemporary musical based on Hans Christian Andersen's classic tale, The Nightingale tells the story of a young emperor in ancient China, whose luxurious but constricted life inside the walls of the Forbidden City is upended by the song of an extraordinary bird that lives beyond his reach. With music of Grammy- and Tony Award-winning pop composer/musician Duncan Sheik, book and lyrics by Tony and Grammy Award winner Steven Sater, and direction by Tony Award nominee and Playhouse favorite Moisés Kaufman, The Nightingale will captivate audiences with its poetic pop sensibility, while engaging them in the process of creating a brand new work.
Ashley continued, "I can't begin to express my excitement about welcoming back to The Playhouse Moisés Kaufman, who helmed our productions of 33 Variations, I Am My Own Wife and The Laramie Project. We also have a longstanding relationship with the powerhouse team of Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik, beginning a decade ago when The Playhouse commissioned them to begin work on Spring Awakening, which later enjoyed a triumphant, Tony Award-winning run on Broadway. It's a pleasure to finally host them on our stage to help launch their latest work."
Initiated in 2001, La Jolla Playhouse's Page To Stage Play Development Program is designed to facilitate the development of new plays and musicals in a workshop production. Page To Stage productions offer audiences the rare opportunity to experience the birth of a play and to take part in its evolution. After each performance, audience feedback sessions provide insights for both the creative team and the actors. Previous Page To Stage productions include John Leguizamo's Diary of a Madman, Peter and the Starcatchers, The Night Watcher, The Farnsworth Invention, Zhivago, the Tony Award-winning 700 Sundays and I Am My Own Wife, which went on to receive a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The Nightingale creative team will be available for interviews for feature coverage; however, in order to preserve the developmental nature of the program, Page To Stage productions are not open to review.
The Nightingale joins the previously-announced 2012/2013 Playhouse productions of the Hands on a Hardbody, running April 27 – June 17 in the Mandell Weiss Theatre; Blood and Gifts, running June 12 – July 8 in the Mandell Weiss Forum; An Iliad, running August 11 – September 9 in the Mandell Weiss Forum; and Glengarry Glen Ross, running September 18 – October 21 in the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre. The Playhouse's sixth subscription show will be announced shortly. Subscriptions to the 2012/2013 season are available online at LaJollaPlayhouse.org or by calling The Playhouse Box Office at (858) 550-1010.
The nationally-acclaimed, Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse is known for its tradition of creating the most exciting and adventurous new work in regional theatre. The Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, and is considered one of the most well-respected not-for-profit theatres in the country. Numerous Playhouse productions have moved to Broadway, including the currently running Tony Award-winning musicals Memphis and Jersey Boys, as well as Big River, The Who's Tommy, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, A Walk in the Woods, Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays, the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Farnsworth Invention, 33 Variations and Bonnie & Clyde. Located on the UC San Diego campus, La Jolla Playhouse is made up of three primary performance spaces: the Mandell Weiss Theatre, the Mandell Weiss Forum Theatre and the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center for La Jolla Playhouse, a state-of-the-Art Theatre complex which features the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre. La Jolla Playhouse is led by Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg.
Moisés Kaufman is one of the most celebrated writers and directors working in theatre today. He directed The Playhouse's 2008 production of 33 Variations, which went on to Broadway, as well as The Laramie Project and the Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning play I Am My Own Wife, by Doug Wright, which began as The Playhouse's inaugural Page To Stage workshop production in 2001 and had its West Coast premiere here in 2005. As a writer/director, his work includes Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde (Lucille Lortel Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Joe Callaway Award, GLAAD Media Award) and The Laramie Project (Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk nominations, GLAAD Media Award). He was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his direction of the Pulitzer Prize finalist Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, which ran on Broadway starring Robin Williams. Kaufman is the Artistic Director of Tectonic Theater Project in New York City. Since 1992, Tectonic Theater Project has produced innovative works that explore theatrical language and form, fostering an artistic dialogue with audiences on social, political and human issues.
Steven Sater won Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Score, the Drama Desk and Outer Critics' Circle Awards for Best Lyrics, the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album, as well as the London Critics Circle Award and the 2010 Olivier Award for Best New Musical for Spring Awakening. Plays include the long-running Carbondale Dreams; Perfect for You; Doll (Rosenthal Prize); A Footnote to the Iliad (New York Stage and Film); Asylum (Naked Angels), and a reconceived musical version of Shakespeare's Tempest (Lyric Hammersmith). He has also collaborated with Duncan Sheik on Nero (Magic Theatre, NY Stage and Film); Umbrage (Steppenwolf New Play Prize); the critically acclaimed album Phantom Moon (Nonesuch); and Alice By Heart (forthcoming from National Theatre of London: Connections, spring 2012). Sater wrote the script and lyrics for Prometheus Bound, with music by Serj Tankian, directed by Diane Paulus, which premiered at the A.R.T. in March 2011. He has also written the script and lyrics for Some Lovers, with music by Burt Bacharach, which premiered in December 2011 at The Old Globe. Additionally, Sater works as a pop/rock lyricist and as a screenwriter (the forthcoming Chitty Chitty Bang Bang remake for Sony Pictures).
Duncan Sheik was awarded the 2007 Tony Awards for Best Orchestrations and Best Original Score and a 2008 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album for his Broadway hit, Spring Awakening. Mr. Sheik is currently composing for the forthcoming Broadway production of American Psycho, an adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen classic Nightingale, as well as Alice by Heart, inspired by Lewis Carroll's classic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in development at The National Theatre in London. Sheik was part of the 2009 Powerhouse Theater Season with a workshop of Whisper House, a collaboration with Kyle Jarrow, which premiered at The Old Globe Theatre in 2010; and Sheik and his collaborator on Spring Awakening, playwright Steven Sater, presented a workshop of Nero (Another Golden Rome) at the Powerhouse Theater in 2008. In the mid 1990's, Sheik's self?titled debut on Atlantic Records was an enormous popular and critical success, spent 52 weeks on the Billboard 200 and earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Male Vocal. In the midst of Sheik's theater projects, he continues to tour and release his own records, including 2011's "Covers 80s" a collection of Sheik's interpretation of classics and obscurities from artists from the synth pop?era. Sheik has composed for film and TV, including the film score for Mary Stuart Masterson's directorial debut, The Cake Eaters, and a film score for Curious Pictures' animated film Little Spirit and most recently Harvest. His albums include "Duncan Sheik" (1996), "Humming" (1998), "Phantom Moon" (2001), "Daylight" (2002), "White Limousine" (2006), "Brighter/Later: A Duncan Sheik Anthology" (2006), and "Greatest Hits: A Duncan Sheik Collection" (2007) "Whisper House" (2009), "Covers 80s" (2011).