New Duncan Sheik Musical WHISPER HOUSE to be Workshopped in Boston
Producer Flora Q. Johnstone announced today the Whisper House, a new play with music, written by Obie Award-winner Kyle Jarrow (A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant) and composed by Grammy and Tony Award-winner Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening) with lyrics by Jarrow and Sheik, conceived with Keith Powell, will receive a workshop this week at Arts Emerson in Boston, MA. Directed by Drama Desk-winner Ed Sylvanus Iskandar (The Mysteries and The Golden Dragon), the private industry presentation of Whisper House will take place on Friday, February 20, 2015. Artist Mark Holthusen (known for his work with Roger Waters and rock band Tiger Lilies) joins the team as a visual designer.
In keeping with both Sheik and Jarrow's celebrated and untraditional methods of storytelling, Whisper House is a new style of musical. Hauntingly moving, with heart and wit juxtaposed against a ground-breaking rock score, it's a hypnotizing experience that audiences of all ages will embrace.
It's 1942 - at the height of World War II- and Christopher, an imaginative young boy, is sent to live with an aunt he's never met: Lily, a reclusive woman who serves as the keeper of a remote New England lighthouse. Not yet comfortable in his surroundings, Christopher begins to hear strange music no one else can hear seeping through the walls. It doesn't take long for him to suspect the lighthouse may be haunted, and these ghosts tell him that Yasuhiro, a Japanese worker that Lilly has employed, should not be trusted. Is Christopher's imagination getting the best of him or are these ghosts warning him of real dangers that lie ahead? The result is a touching and beautiful story about how we should embrace, rather than fear, the unknown.
Whisper House received its world premiere at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre in January 2010. Called "darkly enchanting" and "thrilling," by the Los Angeles Times, Whisper House utilizes music from Sheik's 2009 studio album of the same name. A critical success, the album was influenced by the iconic lighthouse and ghost stories from Sheik's childhood in Hilton Head, South Carolina. The Arts Emerson workshop, sponsored in part by Jonathan Reinis Productions, marks the debut of a new draft of the piece, reimagined with the new creative team of director Iskandar and designer Holthusen.