Kennedy Center to Present World Premiere of ORPHIE AND THE BOOK OF HEROES, 2/8-23

Kennedy Center to Present World Premiere of ORPHIE AND THE BOOK OF HEROES, 2/8-23

The Kennedy Center presents the world premiere production of Orphie and the Book of Heroes in the Family Theater, February 8 - 23, 2014. Commissioned by the Kennedy Center, the play features book and lyrics by Christopher Dimond and music by Michael Kooman with direction by Joe Calarco and choreography by Karma Camp. The performance on Saturday, February 22 at 11am is sensory-friendly. The press opening performance is Saturday, February 8, 2014 at 4 p.m. Orphie and the Book of Heroes is recommended for ages 9 and up.

As a spunky pigtailed orphan growing up in ancient Greece, Orphie has always been fascinated with the stories her guardian Homer (the famous old poet) writes in his book of heroes. However, she's never found a tale about a female hero. When the dark lord Hades snatches Homer and takes him to the underworld, Orphie embarks on a journey to save him. A new musical adventure that puts a comedic twist on Greek mythology, the musical follows Orphie and all of her heroic actions - the exact kind of story she was seeking all along.

Orphie and the Book of Heroes features Chris Bloch as Homer and Lauren Du Pree as Orphie with Evan Casey, Sam Edgerly, Gia Mora, Paul Scanlan, and Thomas Adrian Simpson in multiple roles.

The creative team includes set design by Tony Cisek, costume design by Timm Burrow, lighting design by Dan Covey, sound design by Matt Rowe, puppetry by Ingrid Crepeau, and music direction by Jenny Cartney.

Michael Kooman (music) and Christopher Dimond (book & lyrics) received the 2013 Fred Ebb Award, the 2010 Jonathan Larson Grant, and are the inaugural recipients of the Lorenz Hart Award. Between them, they have received the Burton Lane Award, the Harold Adamson Award, the KCACTF Musical Theater Award, a NYFA Fellowship, an Anna Sosenko Grant, and numerous ASCAP Plus awards. In addition to Orphie and the Book of Heroes, their work also includes original musicals The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes (developed at the O'Neill Music Theater Conference and the Village Theater) and Judge Jackie Justice (commissioned by the Pittsburgh CLO). Their first collaboration, Dani Girl (licensed by Samuel French) has been workshopped at the Kennedy Center, American Conservatory Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, the ASCAP/Disney Musical Theater Workshop, the Festival of New American Musicals, and was featured in the 2011 NAMT Festival of New Musicals. The show has seen productions in Toronto, Dallas, Boston, Australia, and a lab presentation at New York's Exit, Pursued by a Bear. The duo's other works include Golden Gate (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Homemade Fusion (London's Ambassadors Theater, Edinburgh Fringe Festival), the family-friendly Christmas musical Junior Claus (licensed by Dramatic Publishing), and the short film Flour Baby. For more information, visit

Karma Camp (choreographer) has choreographed over 100 shows in the Washington, D.C. area. She is a recipient and eight-time Helen Hayes Award nominee. Her abundance of work not only includes theater but TV - The Motown Sound, In Performance at the White House, staging numbers for Seal, Jamie Foxx, John Legend, Nick Jonas, Natasha Beddingfield, and others; film: How Do You Know with Reese Witherspoon and Owen Wilson and 24 commercials. She is an artistic associate at Signature Theatre where she just completed Gypsy with director, Joe Calarco. This is her 10th production with Joe and her 2nd show for Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences. Other Kennedy Center productions include: First You Dream, Merrily We Roll Along. Upcoming: The Magic Flute with the Washington National Opera where she is also on staff with the Young Artists Program.

Joe Calarco (director). The Kennedy Center: The Trumpet of the Swan. Off-Broadway: A Christmas Carol; Playwrights Horizons: The Burnt Part Boys, Floyd and Clea Under the Western Sky; Primary Stages: In Transit (Drama Desk Award nomination), Boy; Second Stage: in the absence of spring (writer/director); The Transport Group: The Memory Show, Bury The Dead, The Audience (contributing book writer); The Lucille Lortel: Sarah, Plain and Tall, Summer of the Swans; Shakespeare's R&J (adaptor/director, Lucille Lortel Award). National Tour: Ring of Fire. Disney Creative Entertainment: Twice Charmed. Regional: Signature Theatre: Gypsy, Shakespeare's R&J (adapter/director), God of Carnage, Walter Cronkite is Dead. (writer/director), Assassins (Helen Hayes Award), Urinetown (Helen Hayes Award), Sideshow (Helen Hayes Award), Nijinsky's Last Dance (Helen Hayes Award), Nest, The Boy Detective Fails, writer of eight Signature in the Schools plays. The Shakespeare Theatre Company: A Midsummer Nights Dream. Theater J: The Religion Thing. The Folger Theater: Shakespeare's R&J. Charter Theater: Short Order Stories. The Old Globe: Lincolnesque, The Glass Menagerie; Barrington Stage Company: The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (book writer/director). 11th Hour Theatre Company: Ordinary Days (Barrymore Award); Philadelphia Theatre Co.: The Light in the Piazza (Barrymore Award), The Last Five Years, Elegies, M. Butterfly. Published plays: Shakespeares R&J, Walter Cronkite is Dead, In The Absence of Spring. Executive Board SDC. Associate Artistic Director Breaking Bread Theatre. For more information, visit

Education at the kennedy center: As the national center for the performing arts, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is committed to increasing opportunities for all people to participate in and understand the arts. To fulfill that mission, the Kennedy Center strives to commission, create, design, produce, and/or present performances and programs of the highest standard of excellence and of a diversity that reflects the world in which we live-and to make those performances and programs accessible and inclusive. Education at the Kennedy Center includes resources from its presentations and productions and those of its affiliates: the National Symphony Orchestra, VSA (the international arts and disability organization), and Washington National Opera. The focus, locally and nationally, is on producing and presenting age appropriate performances and educational events for young people and their families; school- and community-based programs that directly impact teachers, students, artists, and school and arts administrators through professional development; systemic and school improvement through arts integrated curricula, inclusive classrooms, and universal design in facilities and learning; creating partnerships around the issues of arts education and arts integrated education; creating and providing educational materials via print and the Internet; developing careers in the arts for young people and aspiring professionals; and strengthening the management of arts organizations.

Performances of Orphie and the Book of Heroes run in the Kennedy Center Family Theater February 8-23, 2014. All seats are $20. Please visit the Kennedy Center website at or by calling Instant Charge at (202) 467-4600. Patrons living outside the Washington metropolitan area may dial toll-free at (800) 444-1324.

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