Gattelli & Flaherty's IN YOUR ARMS, Featuring 10 Dance Vignettes by Iconic Writers, Begins Tonight at The Old Globe
The Old Globe opens its 2015-2016 Season with IN YOUR ARMS, a World Premiere dance-theatre musical featuring direction and choreography by Tony Award winner Christopher Gattelli (Newsies, Godspell, Lincoln Center Theater's The King and I and South Pacific) and original music by Tony Award winner Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime, Once on This Island; two-time Oscar nominee for Anastasia). The production begins tonight, September 16, with an opening slated for September 24, and runs through October 25, 2015.
Among the full company, the stars can claim 18 Tony Awards, 4 Pulitzer Prizes, 6 Pulitzer finalist distinctions, 3 Emmy Awards, and 2 Academy Awards -- to list all their honors would take several pages.
Co-conceived by Gattelli and Jennifer Manocherian, with lyrics by Flaherty's longtime collaborator, Tony and Emmy Award winner Lynn Ahrens, on the title song, IN YOUR ARMS features 10 dance vignettes written by an incredible and diverse lineup of theatre powerhouses, including Douglas Carter Beane, Nilo Cruz, Christopher Durang, Carrie Fisher, David Henry Hwang, Rajiv Joseph, Terrence McNally, Marsha Norman, Lynn Nottage, and Alfred Uhry.
IN YOUR ARMS is a sweeping and romantic evening of theatre created by an unprecedented constellation of America's preeminent writers for the stage. Ten dance vignettes tell wordless stories of love, yearning, and romance, and constitute a magical evening of movement and music performed by a cast of 22 talented dancers. Each vignette takes place in a different place and time, and the 10 dances range from duets to large ensemble numbers. Thrilling styles of dance from classical ballet to swing, tap to tango, rock 'n' roll to Charleston, modern to jazz are celebrated with verve and nuance. The emotional canvas of the stories is vast: some are funny, some are sad, and some are enchanting, but all delve deep into that most essential of human emotions: love.
"IN YOUR ARMS is one of the most romantic shows I've ever come across, and I am happy to bring it to San Diego audiences," said Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. "Its creators are a group of top-rank theatrical talent, and the Globe is honored to host them. Stephen Flaherty's lush and beguiling score weaves together a series of imaginative stories by an unprecedented gathering of writers to express the many moods and varieties of love. And wizardly director-choreographer Christopher Gattelli stages this material with a special magic: the potent and exuberant language of dance. Executing his vision is an astonishing company of celebrated performers whose credits dazzle as brightly as their talents. I'm thrilled to open our new season with such a fresh, original, and moving show."
The cast features Marija Juliette Abney (Broadway's After Midnight, The Lion King), Stephen Bienskie (Silence! The Musical, The Fix), Henry Byalikov ("So You Think You Can Dance Australia," Broadway's Burn the Floor), Claire Camp (Super Fly, Flashdance The Musical), George Chakiris (Academy Award for playing Bernardo in West Side Story film), Spencer Clark (The Winter's Tale at The Public Theater), Jeremy Davis (South Pacific, Billy Elliot on Broadway), Jenn Harris (Silence! The Musical, Lucille Lortel and Theatre World Awards for Modern Orthodox Off Broadway), Glenda Sol Koeraus (known internationally as "La Argentinita"), Jess LeProtto ("So You Think You Can Dance," Broadway's Newsies, On the Town), Donna McKechnie (Tony Award for playing Cassie in original Broadway A Chorus Line), Adesola Osakalumi (Fela!, Equus), Karine Plantadit (Tony nomination for Broadway's Come Fly Away, Astaire Award for After Midnight), Hayley Podschun (Broadway's Chaplin, Anything Goes, Pal Joey), Jonathan Sharp (Fiddler on the Roof, The Red Shoes on Broadway), Ryan Steele (Astaire Award nominee for Broadway's Newsies, Matilda The Musical, Billy Elliot: The Musical), Brendon Stimson (Broadway's Newsies, Honeymoon in Vegas, West Side Story), Alex Michael Stoll (Broadway's West Side Story, Evita), Samantha Sturm (original Broadway casts of Matilda The Musical, The Addams Family, Nice Work If You Can Get It), Oscar Valero (Fuerza, El Swing del Flamenco, Met Opera's Carmen, La Traviata), Erica Wong (company member of Ballet Theatre of Maryland and Milwaukee Ballet), and Lyrica Woodruff (Susan Stroman's Little Dancer, two seasons on "Boston Public").
The creative team includes Derek McLane (Scenic Design), Jess Goldstein (Costume Design), Donald Holder (Lighting Design), Peter Hylenski (Sound Design), Olivia Sebesky (Projection Design), Michael Starobin (Orchestrator), Steven Malone (Music Director), Larry Reed/ShadowLight (Shadow Sequence Design), Telsey + Company, Abbie Brady-Dalton, CSA (Casting), Mark Myars (Associate Choreographer), and Michael Domue (Production Stage Manager).
Christopher Gattelli (Direction, Choreography, Co-Conceiver) was awarded the 2012 Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his choreography for Disney's Newsies (now on its first national tour). As a choreographer, his Broadway credits include current hits Amazing Grace and The King and I (Lincoln Center Theater), South Pacific (Tony and OCC nominations), Sunday in the Park with George, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Godspell, The Ritz, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, 13, and High Fidelity. His Off Broadway credits include Dogfight (Lucille Lortel Award), Altar Boyz (Lortel and Joe A. Callaway Awards, Drama Desk nomination), Bat Boy: The Musical (Lortel Award), tick, tick... BOOM!, 10 Million Miles, Adrift in Macao, and I Love You Because. His choreography has also been seen on the West End and in London in South Pacific, Sunday in the Park with George, and tick, tick... BOOM! His national and international tour credits include Altar Boyz, Godspell, Grease, and the world premiere of Disney Theatrical's Pooh's Perfect Day, as well as South Pacific at the Sydney Opera House. His regional choreography credits include The Jungle Book (Goodman Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company), Little Miss Sunshine (La Jolla Playhouse), Me and My Girl and O Henry's Lovers (Goodspeed Opera House), and Tom Jones (North Shore Music Theatre). His credits as a director-choreographer include the Off Broadway production of Silence! The Musical (Time magazine's Top 10 of 2011), the world premiere of Jim Henson's Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas and Radio Girl (Goodspeed Musicals), and Departure Lounge (The Public Theater's New York Shakespeare Festival). He recently directed and choreographed the original workshop of IN YOUR ARMS, which he also co-created, at New York Stage and Film, and he recently choreographed the Coen brothers' feature film Hail, Caesar!
Stephen Flaherty (Music) is the composer of Rocky, Ragtime (Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards, two Grammy Award nominations), Seussical (Grammy and Drama Desk nominations), and Once on This Island (Tony nomination, Olivier Award for Best Musical). His additional Broadway credits include original songs for Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life and incidental music for Neil Simon's Proposals. Flaherty has also written four musicals at Lincoln Center Theater: The Glorious Ones (OCC and Drama Desk nominations), Dessa Rose (OCC and Drama Desk nominations), A Man of No Importance (OCC Award for Best Musical, Drama Desk nomination), and My Favorite Year. His other theatre credits include Lucky Stiff, Little Dancer (The Kennedy Center), and Loving Repeating: A Musical of Gertrude Stein (Chicago's Jefferson Award for Best New Musical). His work for film includes Anastasia (two Academy Award and two Golden Globe nominations), the documentary After the Storm, and the upcoming Lucky Stiff. This year celebrates Flaherty's 30-year collaboration with lyricist-librettist Lynn Ahrens.
A workshop production of IN YOUR ARMS was presented by New York Stage and Film & Vassar at the Powerhouse Theater, Summer 2014. It is produced by arrangement with Jennifer Manocherian, Scott Landis, and Harriet Newman Leve.
Part of The Old Globe's yearlong celebration of its own 80th Anniversary and the Centennial of Balboa Park's Panama-California Exposition, IN YOUR ARMS will run September 16 - October 25, 2015 on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Globe's Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. Preview performances run September 16 - September 23. Opening night is Thursday, September 24. Subscription tickets to the Globe's 2015-2016 Season range from $110 to $647. Single tickets are on sale now and start at $36. Tickets can be purchased online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE or by visiting the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park.
ABOUT THE CAST & CREATIVE TEAM:
Marija Juliette Abney (Dancer) is a recent alumna of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts graduate performance studies program. She received her undergraduate degree from The Ailey School/Fordham University B.F.A. program. She has performed in Broadway's After Midnight and was featured as Cheetah in The Lion King. Additionally, Abney performed in New York City Opera's final production, Anna Nicole. Her television and film credits include "The Tony Awards," Fox Searchlight's Black Nativity, "Dancing with the Stars," "Good Morning America," Live with Regis and Kelly," "The Latin Grammy Awards," "Late Show with Stephen Colbert," and "The Daytime Emmy Awards." When not on stage, Abney partners with artist Mike See as a part of the artist collaborative Refried Collective.
Stephen Bienskie (Dancer) created this role in the New York Stage and Film workshop. He has also created the roles of Buffalo Bill in Silence! The Musical (New York and Los Angeles), Greek in How to Save the World and Find True Love in 90 Minutes, Buddy in The Last Session, Jake in Zombie Prom, Cal in The Fix (Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Musical), Mr. Fitzpatrick in Tom Jones, Stan Weasle and Nightmare Band in Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas, and Dr. Marbury in Françoise opposite Kathleen Chalfant. He was also seen as Steven Ferrel in the web series "Submissions Only."
Henry Byalikov (Dancer) danced his way into the entertainment industry after finishing in the top four men on the first season of "So You Think You Can Dance Australia." He became a professional on "Dancing with the Stars" in Australia and then represented Australia in the international dance competition show "Superstars of Dance" on NBC, where he and his partner received third place. Byalikov has also been featured on ABC's hit show "Dancing with the Stars" as a professional dancer. He is well known for his principal role in the Broadway stage production Burn the Floor at the Longacre Theatre in New York. His film career includes being a featured dancer in The Great Gatsby.
Claire Camp (Dancer) began her training as a classical ballet dancer and grew to love musical theatre over time. Her theatre credits include Ms. Potiphar in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (national tour), ensemble in Bill T. Jones's Super Fly (pre-Broadway workshop), ensemble in Flashdance The Musical (first national tour), and Cassandra in Cats (Gateway Playhouse). She received a B.F.A. in Dance from SUNY Purchase College in 2011 and was able to perform the works of George Balanchine and Twyla Tharp.
George Chakiris (Dancer) won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for his performance as Bernardo in the classic film West Side Story and has since enjoyed an international career in film, television, and theatre. He has starred in films with Catherine Deneuve, Claudia Cardinale, Charlton Heston, Dirk Bogarde, Lana Turner, Cliff Robertson, and Yul Brynner. Chakiris starred in the English company of David Henry Hwang's M. Butterfly and recently completed Le Lido, a French miniseries. His extensive theatre credits include Company with Elaine Stritch, The Corn Is Green, and Elizabeth the Queen with Kim Hunter. In England, Chakiris won rave reviews in The Passion of Dracula on the West End and in the BBC/PBS miniseries Notorious Woman with Rosemary Harris. His television credits include "Murder, She Wrote" and a recurring role on "Dallas." He recently was honored as Officier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture.
Spencer Clark (Dancer) was most recently seen as Tommy Djilas in Maine State Music Theatre's production of The Music Man. His New York credits include shows at Carnegie Hall, The Joyce Theater, 54 Below, Schimmel Center, and Park Playhouse. Clark is a senior at Pace University where he is working toward a B.F.A. in Commercial Dance. He has received additional training at Pacific Northwest Ballet School and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet.
Jeremy Davis (Dancer) is making his Globe debut. His Broadway credits include Bert Healy in Annie, The Last Ship, South Pacific, Billy Elliot: The Musical, 9 to 5, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Ghost The Musical, and The People in the Picture. He has also been on tour with Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, South Pacific, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and The Who's Tommy.
Jenn Harris (Dancer) last appeared at the Globe in The Women. She has appeared Off Broadway in Silence! The Musical, Modern Orthodox (Lucille Lortel and Theatre World Awards), All in the Timing, The Understudy, and New Jerusalem. Her regional credits include Hairspray, Pageant Play, The Heidi Chronicles, and Blithe Spirit, and her other New York credits include The Plank Project, My Deah, Our Hit Parade at Joe's Pub, QWAN Company's SWAN!!! and NOTES!!! She has appeared on film and television in Gayby, 5 Doctors, Better Living Through Chemistry, A Case of You, "High Maintenance," "30 Rock," Eastsiders," Comedy Central's "New Timers," "Alpha House," "Bored to Death," "Law & Order," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," and "Meet the Agents" on YouTube. Harris's solo show, The Moment You Been Waiting Four, premiered at The Duplex this year, and "New York is Dead," a web series for which she co-writes, produces, and co-stars, will premiere in early 2016.
Glenda Sol Koeraus (Dancer), "La Argentinita," is a Buenos Aires-born flamenco dancer who, over the past decade, has established herself as one of the top flamenco dancers/choreographers in New York City. As a scholarship recipient of the Jerome Foundation's Travel and Study Grant, the Cristina Heeren Foundation scholarship, and the Jacob's Pillow Cultural Traditions Program, Koeraus has studied with many of the great dancers and teachers of flamenco. Since her move to New York, she has appeared at illustrious venues such as Lincoln Center, The Town Hall, Symphony Space, and The Joyce Theater. Koeraus has toured internationally with Soledad Barrios & Noche Flamenca for six years, and she has also participated in Zeffirelli's production of La Traviata at Metropolitan Opera. More recently, she has been featured in the workshop of IN YOUR ARMS (New York Stage and Film/Powerhouse Theater), Zorro (Alliance Theatre), and Latin Quarter (Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City). She was also the choreographer and solo dancer for Portland Opera's production of Carmen. She is currently touring the U.S. and abroad as a solo dancer and singer for the world-renowned Gala of the Royal Horses.
Jess LeProtto (Dancer) has been singing and dancing since the age of five. He has performed with Jimmy Fallon for MTV's Video Music Awards and made appearances on "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, "One Life to Live," and "Smash." His Off Broadway credits include A Trees Grows in Brooklyn at City Centers Encores!, and he has been on the national tours of Radio City Christmas Spectacular and Broadway's Leading Men. LeProtto's Broadway credits include On The Town, Newsies, Bye Bye Birdie, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and The Boy from Oz. LeProtto made the Top 8 of the eighth season of the hit television show "So You Think You Can Dance," followed by the national tour, where he was also dance captain.
Donna McKechnie (Dancer) received the Tony Award for her performance in the original Broadway production of A Chorus Line. Her other Broadway shows include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, The Education of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N, Sondheim: A Musical Tribute (which she also choreographed), On the Town, Promises, Promises, Company, and State Fair, for which she received the Astaire Award. She has starred in numerous productions in London's West End as well as Paris and Tokyo. McKechnie has also guest starred extensively with symphony orchestras throughout the country, as well as on television and in film. Her memoir, Time Steps: My Musical Comedy Life, was published by Simon & Schuster.
Adesola Osakalumi (Dancer) was the lead in both the Broadway and international tours of Fela! as well as Fela! The Concert, and he also appeared in the Broadway revival of Equus. His New York and regional credits include IN YOUR ARMS (New York Stage and Film/Powerhouse Theater), Ngwino Ubeho (Sundance Institute Theatre Lab), Eyewitness Blues (New York Theatre Workshop), and Jam on the Groove (Minetta Lane Theatre, Drama Desk Award nomination). His film appearances include Sex and the City 2, Crazy Beats Strong Every Time, The Accidental Husband, Across the Universe, Enchanted, and Idlewild. As a choreographer his work includes the films School of Rock and Marci X; Broadway Bares; and commercial work for ESPN, Old Navy, PBS Kids, Halifax Bank, and Advil. Osakalumi is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Bessie Award.
Karine Plantadit (Dancer) has danced on Broadway in Warren Carlyle's After Midnight, Twyla Tharp's Come Fly Away (Tony, Astaire, and Drama Desk Award nominations) and Movin' Out, Arlene Phillips's Saturday Night Fever, and Julie Taymor's The Lion King. Her other New York theatre credits include Bloomer Girl and Golden Boy (City Center Encores!) and the Disney project Dream Giver. Her films include Taymor's Frida and Across the Universe, Ted 2, and Chicago. Her television credits include "Sex and the City," "Starved," and Hymn: Remembering Alvin Ailey.
Hayley Podschun (Dancer) has been involved with IN YOUR ARMS since the very first meeting back in 2008. Originally from Kansas, Podschun has been performing on Broadway and in national tours since the age of 12 with credits including Glinda in the national tour of Wicked, Chaplin, Anything Goes, the Broadway and national tour productions of Hairspray, Pal Joey, Sunday in the Park with George, The Sound of Music, and the original Strawberry in Freckleface Strawberry Off Broadway. Her film and television credits include Hail, Caesar!, Tammy in Hairspray, and "Louie." Podschun has been seen regionally as Peter in Peter Pan (Artpark), Elle in Legally Blonde (Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities), Lila in Holiday Inn (Goodspeed Musicals), Wendy in Peter Pan (Paper Mill Playhouse), and Penny in Hairspray (Music Circus). She is also a red carpet correspondent and producer for BroadwayStyleGuide.com.
Jonathan Sharp (Dancer) has danced on Broadway in Fiddler on the Roof, Dance of the Vampires, The Rocky Horror Show, Carousel, and The Red Shoes. His notable Off Broadway credits also include Ziegfeld Follies of 1936 (City Center Encores!) and Anyone Can Whistle (Carnegie Hall). He has danced with Pennsylvania Ballet, Stars of American Ballet, Boston Ballet, and, as a guest artist, with Lyon Symphony Orchestra in France, Los Angeles Ballet, City Ballet of Los Angeles, California Ballet, San Diego Ballet Dance Company, Beaumont Civic Ballet, Westside Ballet, Pacific Festival Ballet Company, Inland Pacific Ballet, LA Opera, San Francisco Opera, and The Dallas Opera. His television credits include "Gilmore Girls," "Jack & Jill," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," and "Another World."
Ryan Steele (Dancer) has been seen on Broadway in the 2009 revival of West Side Story, Billy Elliot: The Musical, Newsies (Astaire Award nominee), and Matilda The Musical. His other stage credits include The Wild Party (New York City Center), Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and Carmen (Houston Grand Opera). His film and television credits include Peter Pan Live!, Five Dances, Ted 2, "Smash," and numerous award shows.
Alex Michael Stoll (Dancer) has appeared on Broadway in If/Then, West Side Story, Evita, and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. He also appeared as Young Mike in Colossal at Dallas Theater Center. His television and film credits include The Sound of Music Live!, "The Oscars," "The Tony Awards," "The Kennedy Center Honors," "Gossip Girl," "Smash," and A Million Ways to Die in the West.
Samantha Sturm (Dancer) is making her Old Globe debut. She has been seen on Broadway in the original casts of The Addams Family, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Matilda The Musical, and On the Town. She performed in the national tours of Cats and Evita and has several regional credits. Sturm was also a soloist with Asaph Dance Ensemble.
Oscar Valero (Dancer) is a multitalented flamenco dancer, choreographer, singer, and percussionist. He was performing professionally by 17, and in 1998 he became a soloist with the Antonio Canales Flamenco Company and the María Pagés Dance Company. He has danced at Festival de Jerez, Festival de Cante de las Minas, and La Bienal de Flamenco de Sevilla. He performed at festivals in Lyon, Bogotá, Tel Aviv, Spoleto, and Tokyo with Antonio Canales and in Boston and New York City with María Pagés. In 2006 Valero inaugurated the Flamenco Festival in Valencia. In 2009, the premiere of his Fuerza, El Swing del Flamenco received raves at The Joyce Theater, then at the renowned Baryshnikov Arts Center, JCC Arts Center, and Connelly Theater. He was in the film The Pink Panther 2 with Steve Martin and in Metropolitan Opera's Carmen and La Traviata. Now a San Diegan, he can be seen at local venues, holds flamenco workshops, and teaches in the UC San Diego dance department, in addition to traveling for guest performances as an artist and choreographer.
Erica Wong (Dancer) began her ballet training at age five at Hawaii State Ballet in Honolulu, when her father thought dance classes would help her improve her martial arts skills. At age 18, she went on to win The American Ballet Competition in Austin, Texas. She then joined Ballet Theatre of Maryland as a featured soloist, as well as Milwaukee Ballet. Wong has been a guest artist with London's New Generation Ballet, Southern Michigan Classical Ballet, and Hawaii State Ballet. In January 2015, she was crowned Hawaii's 66th Narcissus Queen, having won the talent competition of the Chinese beauty and cultural pageant, as well as the title.
Lyrica Woodruff (Dancer) began her ballet training at the age of five at the Westside School of Ballet under the mentorship of Yvonne Mounsey. She started acting at the same time and spent two years on the television series "Boston Public." She has also guest starred on many shows, including "Private Practice," "Bunheads," and "Switched at Birth." At 14, Woodruff was invited to train year-round at The School of American Ballet in New York City. Upon graduating, she received the prestigious Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise. Woodruff was featured in Susan Stroman's musical Little Dancer, which premiered at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, where she also understudied the title role. Recently, she has performed there as a guest artist, dancing the principal roles in The Nutcracker, Spring Waters, Le Corsaire, and Balanchine's Who Cares?
Douglas Carter Beane (Story) is the author of the plays Shows for Days, The Nance, The Little Dog Laughed (Tony and Olivier Award nominations), Mr. and Mrs. Fitch, As Bees In Honey Drown (Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award), Music from a Sparkling Planet, The Cartells, Mondo Drama, The Country Club, and Advice from a Caterpillar. His musicals include Xanadu (Tony nomination), Sister Act (Tony nomination), Lysistrata Jones(Tony nomination), Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella (Tony nomination), and The Bandwagon. Beane penned the screenplays for To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar and Advice from a Caterpillar(Aspen Rooftop Comedy Festival Best Feature). His opera credits include Die Fledermaus (repertory of Metropolitan Opera), and his television credits include The Nance (PBS's "Live from Lincoln Center"). His current projects include writing and directing Fairycakes and Robin Hood.
Nilo Cruz (Story) won the Pulitzer Prize and the Steinberg/ATCA Award for Drama for his play Anna in the Tropics and was nominated for a Tony Award. His opera Bel Canto, based on Ann Patchett's book, will premiere in December at Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Christopher Durang (Story) is one of the country's most beloved and widely produced contemporary American playwrights. Among his best known plays are Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You, Beyond Therapy, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Laughing Wild, Betty's Summer Vacation, the Pulitzer Prize finalist Miss Witherspoon, and Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them. Known for absurdist humor and raging satire, Durang's style has influenced an entire generation of writers. But even the anger of an enfant terrible must recede, and his most enjoyable and commercially viable comedy to date, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, swept the 2013 Best Play category, winning the Tony, New York Drama Critics' Circle, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, and Off Broadway Alliance Awards, as well as delighting Globe audiences last season. In 2013 he was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame.
Carrie Fisher (Story), actress, writer, and daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, made her film debut in Shampoo and became a cultural icon playing Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy. She starred in such hits as When Harry Met Sally, Hannah and Her Sisters, and The Blues Brothers. Her television credits include "Laverne & Shirley" and "Sex and the City," and her appearance in "30 Rock" was Emmy Award-nominated. Fisher's bestselling novel, Postcards from the Edge, netted her the Los Angeles PEN Literary Award for Best First Novel, and her Postcards screenplay for the Oscar-nominated film starred Shirley MacLaine and Meryl Streep. Three novels and two memoirs have followed: Delusions of Grandma, Surrender the Pink, The Best Awful, Wishful Drinking, and Shockaholic. Her one-woman Broadway show Wishful Drinking was filmed for HBO and was Emmy-nominated. Fisher will reprise her role of Princess Leia in the much anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
David Henry Hwang's (Story) work includes the plays M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Yellow Face, Kung Fu, Golden Child, The Dance and the Railroad, FOB, and the Broadway musicals Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival), and Disney's Tarzan. He is America's most-produced living opera librettist and has worked with composers Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, and Bright Sheng, among others. Hwang is a Tony Award winner and three-time nominee, a three-time Obie Award winner, and a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He is currently a writer-producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series The Affair, and he is developing an original series, "Shanghai." Hwang won the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award, 2012 Inge Award, 2012 Steinberg/ATCA Award, 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award, and 2015 IPSA Distinguished Artist Award. He serves as Head of Playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts and was recently the Residency One Playwright at New York's Signature Theatre Company.
Rajiv Joseph's (Story) Broadway play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo was a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Drama and was awarded a grant for Outstanding New American Play by the National Endowment for the Arts. Joseph's New York productions include Guards at the Taj (Atlantic Theater Company), The North Pool (Vineyard Theatre), Gruesome Playground Injuries, Animals Out of Paper, and All This Intimacy (Second Stage Theatre), The Leopard and the Fox (AlterEgo Theatre Company), and Huck & Holden (Cherry Lane Theatre). His other recent plays include Mr. Wolf (South Coast Repertory), The Lake Effect (Crossroads Theatre Company), and The Monster at the Door (Alley Theatre). He received his B.A. in Creative Writing from Miami University and his M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He served for three years in the Peace Corps in Senegal and now lives in Brooklyn.
Terrence McNally (Story) was awarded the Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement Award and is the winner of Tony Awards for his plays Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class and his books for the musicalsRagtime and Kiss of the Spider Woman. In 1996, he was elected to the Theater Hall of Fame. This past season he was represented on Broadway by It's Only A Play and his book for The Visit. Mothers and Sons, his 20th Broadway production, received a 2014 Tony nomination for Best Play. McNally's other plays include Frankie and Johnny in the Clair De Lune; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; The Lisbon Traviata; Corpus Christi; The Ritz; andA Perfect Ganesh. He also wrote the libretto for the opera Dead Man Walking, which had its premiere at San Francisco Opera. His newest opera, Great Scott, will be premiering at Dallas Opera in October 2015. His teleplayAndre's Mother won an Emmy Award.
Marsha Norman (Story) won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for her play 'night, Mother and a Tony Award for the book to her musical The Secret Garden. She is Co-Chair, with Chris Durang, of the Playwriting Program at The Juilliard School. Her newest projects include the book for the musical King Kong and a play about trafficking and violence toward women worldwide. She won a Peabody Award for her work in television and has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rockefeller Foundation. She won the Margo Jones Award, the Sidney Kingsley Award, and the William Inge Lifetime Achievement Award in Playwriting. She writes and lectures frequently on playwriting and the musical book. She serves on the board of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She is a Founder and President of The Lilly Awards Foundation and serves on the Steering Committee of the Dramatists Guild of America.
Lynn Nottage (Story) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and a screenwriter. Her plays have been produced widely in the United States and throughout the world. They include Sweat (American Revolutions commission at Oregon Shakespeare Festival); By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (Lilly Award); Ruined (Pulitzer Prize and Obie, Lucille Lortel, New York Drama Critics' Circle, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards); Intimate Apparel(Steinberg/ATCA and New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards); Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine (Obie Award); Crumbs from the Table of Joy; Las Meninas; Mud, River, Stone; Por'knockers; and POOF! She and composer Ricky Ian Gordon are adapting Intimate Apparel into an opera (Metropolitan Opera/Lincoln Center Theater commission). Nottage is the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship, Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award, the inaugural Horton Foote Prize, Helen Hayes Award, and Lee Reynolds Award. She is a member of the Dramatist Guild.
Alfred Uhry (Story) is distinguished as the only American playwright to have won a Pulitzer Prize, an Academy Award, and two Tony Awards. Uhry began his professional career as a lyric writer under contract to the late Frank Loesser. He made his Broadway debut in 1968 as lyricist for Here's Where I Belong. His first major success was Broadway's The Robber Bridegroom (book and lyrics) and five recreated musicals at Goodspeed Opera House. Uhry's first play, Driving Miss Daisy, opened Off Broadway in 1987 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1988. The film, starring Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy, won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay in 1990. His work includes The Last Night of Ballyhoo (Tony Award), Parade (Tony Award), Lovemusik (Drama Desk Award nomination), and Without Walls (starring Laurence Fishburne). In 2014, he was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame.
Lynn Ahrens's (Lyrics) theatre credits include Ragtime, Once on This Island, Seussical, Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life, My Favorite Year, Rocky, A Man of No Importance, Dessa Rose, The Glorious Ones, Madison Square Garden's A Christmas Carol, Lucky Stiff, and the recent Kennedy Center world premiere of Little Dancer. Her film and television credits include the feature animation Anastasia (20th Century Fox), A Christmas Carol(NBC), Camp (IFC), "Schoolhouse Rock" (ABC), and many others. She is a Council Member of the Dramatists Guild of America and co-founded the Dramatists Guild Fellows Program. Her honors include Tony, Emmy, Olivier, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Lilly Awards and nominations for the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, and Grammy Award. In 2014, together with her longtime collaborator, composer Stephen Flaherty, she received the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement.
While this is Jennifer Manocherian's (Co-Conceiver) first experience as co-conceiver, she has been a producer on Broadway for over 25 years.
Derek McLane (Scenic Design) previously designed Into the Woods at the Globe. He has designed the Broadway productions of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, The Heiress, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Gore Vidal'sThe Best Man, Follies, Anything Goes, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Million Dollar Quartet, Ragtime, 33 Variations (Tony Award), Grease, Little Women, The Pajama Game, I Am My Own Wife, The Women, and Present Laughter. His Off Broadway credits include Into the Woods, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Last Five Years, Ruined, A Lie of the Mind, Marie and Bruce, The Voysey Inheritance, Macbeth, Hurlyburly, and Abigail's Party. He recently designed the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Academy Awards as well as NBC's The Sound of Music Live! and Peter Pan Live! McLane has designed for opera and theatre in London, Paris, Dublin, Glasgow, Moscow, Krakow, Sydney, and Warsaw. He has received Obie Awards (1997, 2004), Lucille Lortel Awards (2004, 2005, 2007), a Tony Award (2009), a Drama Desk Award (2011), and an Emmy Award (2014). He is a member of the board of directors of The New Group and Fiasco Theatre Company and is a mentor with Theatre Development Fund's Open Doors program.
Jess Goldstein (Costume Design) has designed, among many others, On the Town, Jersey Boys, Newsies, The Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino (Tony Award nomination), Henry IV with Kevin Kline (Tony nomination),The Rivals (2005 Tony Award), The Apple Tree with Kristin Chenoweth, Orphans with Alec Baldwin, Buried Child, Proof, Take Me Out, Love! Valour! Compassion!, How I Learned to Drive, Dinner with Friends, The Mineola Twins (Lucille Lortel and Henry Hewes Design Awards), Il Trittico for Metropolitan Opera, and Tony Goldwyn's film A Walk on the Moon. Goldstein is a graduate of the Yale University School of Drama and has taught design there since 1990. He was the 2015 recipient of the Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award.
Donald Holder (Lighting Design) previously designed the Globe's The Times They Are A-Changin'. His Broadway credits include The Lion King and South Pacific (Tony Awards), The King and I, The Bridges of Madison County, Golden Boy, Ragtime, Movin' Out, Gem of the Ocean, A Streetcar Named Desire, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, and Juan Darien (all Tony-nominated), On the Twentieth Century, You Can't Take It With You, Bullets Over Broadway, Cyrano De Bergerac, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and The Boy from Oz, among others. His regional credits include La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Repertory, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Denver Center Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Center Stage, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Long Wharf Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company, Alley Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and many others. His opera credits include The Magic Flute, Two Boys, and Otello (Metropolitan Opera), Carmen (Houston Grand Opera), and Moby-Dick and Death and the Powers (The Dallas Opera). He also designed seasons one and two of "Smash."
Peter Hylenski (Sound Design) is a Grammy, Olivier, and four-time Tony Award nominee. His selected Broadway credits include Something Rotten!, After Midnight, Motown The Musical, The Scottsboro Boys, Side Show, Rock of Ages, Rocky, Bullets Over Broadway, Shrek The Musical, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Lend Me a Tenor, Elf, Wonderland, Cry-Baby, The Times They Are A-Changin', The Wedding Singer, Sweet Charity, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, Little Women, and Brooklyn. His other credits include Le Rêve and ShowStoppers (Wynn Las Vegas), Ragtime (London), Rocky: Das Musical (Hamburg), King Kong (Melbourne), How To Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular (international arena tour), Walking with Dinosaurs (international arena tour), Bull Durham, and Mame. Hylenski is also a producer and engineer for film, album, and television projects. He has engineered commercials for clients such as Sony, Levi's, General Mills, and Mercedes-Benz and was the re-record mixer and sound supervisor on his fifth film for the American Museum of Natural History, titled Dark Universe.
Olivia Sebesky (Projection Design) recently designed Ever After (Paper Mill Playhouse), The Spoils, Sticks and Bones, and Intimacy (The New Group), "Fake Off" (truTV), the Nasser bin Hamad Awards with OnTheFly (Bahrain), IN YOUR ARMS (New York Stage and Film), Spam (3-Legged Dog), Vegas Nocturne (Spiegelworld/The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas), WikiMusical (New York Musical Theatre Festival), The Architecture of Becoming(Women's Project/New York City Center), Alice + Olivia Fashion Show at Sleep No More (New York Fashion Week), God Hates This Show (HERE Arts Center, Joe's Pub), The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Company One), and Yesterday Happened: Remembering H.M. (Underground Railway Theater). She received the 2013 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Design.
Michael Starobin's (Orchestrator) credits include If/Then, Annie, Dogfight, Leap of Faith, Queen of the Mist, People in the Picture, Sondheim on Sondheim, Next to Normal (Tony Award), The Glorious Ones, Grinch, Adrift in Macao, The House of Bernarda Alba, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Assassins (Tony Award), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, A New Brain, A Christmas Carol, Hello Again, Guys and Dolls, My Favorite Year, Falsettos, In Trousers, Sunday in the Park with George, Once on This Island, Closer Than Ever, Legs Diamond, Romance/Romance, Carrie, Birds of Paradise, Rags, 3 Guys Naked, and Von Richthofen. His films include The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Life with Mikey, Home on the Range, Tangled, and Lucky Stiff.
Steven Malone (Music Director) was the associate music director/conductor for the Broadway production of Newsies. Other Alan Menken shows he has worked on, both regionally and on Broadway, include The Hunchback of Notre Dame (associate music director), Sister Act, Leap of Faith, The Little Mermaid, and Disney's upcoming live-action film of Beauty and the Beast. Malone was the assistant music director for NBC's live telecast ofPeter Pan starring Christopher Walken and Allison Williams and was the children's vocal conductor for The Sound of Music Live! starring Carrie Underwood. He has been a music director and pianist for numerous workshops of new musicals, companies, and events, including The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park, Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival, Nashville Opera, The Kennedy Center Honors, and the Tony Awards. With Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, Malone has worked on Little Dancer at Lincoln Center, the just-released feature film Lucky Stiff, and, as associate music director, Flaherty and Ahrens's upcoming stage production of Anastasia.
Telsey + Company (Casting) cast the Broadway productions and tours of Fiddler on the Roof, The Color Purple, China Doll, Misery, Allegiance, On Your Feet!, Sylvia, Spring Awakening, Hamilton, Something Rotten!, An American in Paris, Finding Neverland, The King and I, Hand to God, Kinky Boots, Wicked, The Bridges of Madison County, If/Then, The Sound of Music, Love Letters, Newsies, Pippin, Motown, Rock of Ages, and Million Dollar Quartet. Their Off Broadway credits include Atlantic Theater Company, LAByrinth Theater Company, MCC Theater, Second Stage Theatre, and Signature Theatre Company. Their regional credits include American Repertory Theater, Goodspeed Musicals, La Jolla Playhouse, New York Stage and Film, Paper Mill Playhouse, Westport Country Playhouse, and Williamstown Theatre Festival. They cast the films Fun House, Tallulah,Ithaca, The Intern, Ricki and the Flash, Focus, The Last Five Years, Song One, A Most Violent Year, and Into the Woods. Their television credits include "Flesh and Bone," "Masters of Sex," and numerous commercials.
Mark Myars (Associate Choreographer) served as associate choreographer of If/Then (Broadway, upcoming national tour); associate choreographer of Beaches (Drury Lane Theatre); and dance supervisor and assistant choreographer of Wicked seven