Bingham Camp Theatre Retreat to Develop New Musical PANGAEA
Artistic Director Devanand Janki has gathered a diverse group of New York Theater professionals at the Bingham Camp Theater Retreat to develop new works at the company's third annual artistic residency.
The Bingham Camp Theatre Retreat is an innovative theatrical program during which artists spend time in a rural setting creating work that gives voice to underrepresented communities onstage.
Janki was recently honored by the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society for the creation and ongoing leadership of the Bingham Camp Theatre Retreat. Janki and BCTR were lauded for their development of new theatrical work written and performed by actors of color which have garnered artistic praise and tangible commercial interest for future projects.
"It is thrilling to be returning to the woods of Connecticut for our third year,"says Janki, "The shows we have lined up for this season, both 'Invictus Mingus' and 'Pangaea', are excellent reflections of our drive to create new opportunities for diverse theater makers. I find work like Pangaea to be particularly exciting, theater that encourages dialogue between cultures is increasingly essential in our world today."
"Pangaea" is the musical selected to be developed at this year's retreat, with music by Janet Noh, and book and lyrics by Lee Summers. Set millions of years ago, the super-continent Pangaea stands majestically alone in the sea. After her metamorphosis, the sea welcomes seven fractured continent-siblings who long to return to Pangaea. Conflict arises when one sibling plots to dominate, forcing the others into action. With a contemporary score infused with pop/R&B, classical, and musical styles from around the world, the creators ask: is it possible to put a divided world back together?
Janet Noh and Lee Summers are both recent graduates of NYU's Musical Theater Writing Program. Pangaea, their latest collaboration, was chosen from a nationwide submission process. The musical was selected for the rich opportunities it presents for diverse voices to be heard on stage. Providing a platform for such work is key to BCTR's mission.
The cast includes Marc De La Cruz ("If/Then"), Catherine Gloria ("Miss Saigon" Broadway by the Bay), Cedric Leiba Jr. ("Rent" National Tour), Clifton Oliver ("In The Heights," "Wicked"), Justine Rosales ("The Mystery of Edwin Drood" McCray Theater), Robert Toms ("Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" Indiana University), and Femecia Ward ("Blue Bloods"). Direction is by BCTR's Artistic Director Devanand Janki and Musical Direction is by Nathan Dame.
The two week-long retreat also features a fireside reading of a new play by Frank Harts, "Invictus Mingus" about the life of Jazz composer Charles Mingus. Frank Harts is a writer/actor/producer based in New York City. He is best known for his work in the Broadway revival of "A Raisin in the Sun," as well as "Master of None," "Elementary," and "The Leftovers."
BCTR is led by Artistic Director Devanand Janki whose career spans all facets of the performing arts - theatre, opera, ballet and corporate entertainment. Janki began as a performer, appearing in numerous productions including Broadway's "Miss Saigon," "Cats," "The King & I," and "Side Show." For the past 15 years, he has been a freelance director, working regionally and in New York on over 50 shows including "Aladdin," "Junie B. Jones," "Man of La Mancha," "Rent," "The Full Monty" and Off-Broadway's "Zanna Don't" for which he won the Lucille Lortel Award. His passion has always been creating new work for the stage.
To make reservation, visit www.artful.ly/bingham-camp-theatre-retreat-bctr/store/events/13298. For more information about BCTR, go to www.binghamcamptheatreretreat.org.