Northwestern University's AMTP Presents THE VERONA PROJECT, 10/19-11/4


The American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) at Northwestern University has selected award-winning writer and director Amanda Dehnert's THE VERONA PROJECT as its newest musical. Presented as the first show in the Theatre and Interpretation Center (TIC) at Northwestern University's 2012-13 Mainstage season, performances will take place from Oct. 19 through Nov. 4, at the Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, on the University's Evanston campus.

Dehnert's new musical, THE VERONA PROJECT, is an electric hybrid of theatre and live concert infused with original indie-folk-rock music. A modern fable inspired by Shakespeare's first comedy, THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA, the show takes an honest look at surviving love and loss. Seen through the eyes of a group of young musicians, THE VERONA PROJECT explores the journeys we all take and the people we eventually become.

THE VERONA PROJECT had its world premiere at the California Shakespeare Theatre (Cal Shakes) in July 2011. Director, writer and composer Amanda Dehnert will continue developing the show at AMTP and the production will feature new songs and production elements created since its original production.

"The show is a modern once-upon-a-time infused with the youthful spirit of self-expression and discovery," Dehnert says. "It's a fable, it's a concert, it's a love story, but not just a love story for the young. We're just trying to make something new, wonderful and beautiful. It is a thrill and a wild ride."

Dehnert's collaborators for THE VERONA PROJECT include two-time Tony Award-nominated set designer Dan Ostling (2012 Tony Award, scenic design, "Clybourne Park"), sound designer Josh Horvath, costume designer Melissa Torchia and lighting designer Will Kirkham. Ostling, Horvath and Torchia designed the original production at Cal Shakes. In addition to designing sound, Horvath serves as music producer for the production, collaborating with Dehnert and the Northwestern University student cast members, all of whom will double as musicians in the production.

THE VERONA PROJECT is produced by AMTP in association with the Theatre and Interpretation Center at Northwestern University. "The opportunity for AMTP to support the development of The Verona Project is extraordinary," says AMTP producing director Heather Schmucker. "It's a beautiful, whimsical new musical with a unique folk-rock sound and a coming-of-age tale that will have a universal appeal for audiences."

Amanda Dehnert is currently a resident director with the Trinity Repertory Company and an Assistant Professor at Northwestern University. She directed the acclaimed productions of "Julius Caesar" (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), "Peter Pan (A Play)" (by Amanda Dehnert, Lookingglass Theatre Company-Joseph Jefferson Award nomination, best new adaptation), "The Fantasticks" (Long Wharf Theatre and Arena Stage Company, Helen Hayes Award nomination, outstanding direction) and "Cabaret" (Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Canada). Other regional credits include directing and adapting productions of "Romeo and Juliet" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" for the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre's Short Shakespeare series.

The American Music Theatre Project nourishes the vitality of American music theatre through the development and production of new musicals by leading professional artists and through increased opportunities for education and training with Northwestern University's theatre, music theatre , and dance programs. AMTP's home at Northwestern University provides a rich, safe and multidisciplinary environment for new works to thrive, and the program's collaboration with professional artists provides unparalleled opportunities for faculty and students to be intimately involved in the creation of new work. This commitment was part of the vision of AMTP's founders, Stuart Oken and Dominic Missimi, who conceived of the program as both a haven for professional creative teams looking for space, time and resources to develop new musicals, and as a vibrant arena for education and academic engagement.

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