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Photos: See Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Haven Burton & More at HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO Opening Night

The musical is the 2022-23 season opener at Syracuse Stage, and is now in performances through Oct. 9, 2022.

Syracuse Stage celebrated the official Opening Night of its world premiere engagement of How to Dance in Ohio on Friday, September 23.

See opening night photos below!

How to Dance in Ohio is inspired by Alexandra Shiva's Peabody Award-winning HBO documentary of the same name, and features book and lyrics by Rebekah Greer Melocik (she/her), music by Jacob Yandura (he/him), choreography by Mayte Natalio (she/her) and direction by Sammi Cannold (she/her). The musical is the 2022-23 season opener at Syracuse Stage, and is now in performances through Oct. 9, 2022. Tickets are available at www.syracusestage.org or at the Syracuse Stage Box Office (315-443-3275).

The How to Dance in Ohio musical cast includes Tony Award-winning RENT star Wilson Jermaine Heredia (he/him), Broadway veterans, and seven autistic actors. Heredia leads the cast as Dr. Emilio Amigo, alongside Haven Burton (she/her; Shrek the Musical, Violet) as Teresa, Darlesia Cearcy (she/her; Shuffle Along, Once On This Island) as Johanna, Carlos L. Encinias (he/him; Les Misérables, Mamma Mia!) as Kurt, Desmond Edwards (he/him) as Remy, Amelia Fei (she/her) as Caroline, Nick Gaswirth (he/him; Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812) as Michael, Melina Kalomas (she/her) as Amy, Madison Kopec (she/her) as Marideth, Liam Pearce (he/him) as Drew, Marina Pires (she/her; Aladdin, On Your Feet!) as Ashley Amigo, Imani Russell (they/them) as Melissa, Conor Tague (he/him) as Tommy, and Ashley Wool (she/her) as Jessica. Elana Babbitt (she/her), Corrine Ferrer (she/her), and Zach Simpson (he/him) are the understudies, and Imri Leshed (they/he) and Nicole Fazia (they/she) are the swings.

How to Dance in Ohio is a heart-filled new musical that explores what it means to belong, the courage it takes to put yourself out in the world, and the universal need to connect. Based on Shiva's award-winning documentary, produced by HBO in 2015, the musical follows the challenges and exhilarations faced by a group of seven autistic young adults at a counseling center in Columbus, Ohio. With the support of clinical psychologist Dr. Emilio Amigo, the center arranges a spring formal dance, and encourages them as they encounter love, fear, stress, excitement, and hope, along the path to human connection.

The full creative team includes scenic designer Robert Brill (Cabaret, Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations, Thoughts of a Colored Man) co-costume designers Sarafina Bush (For Colored Girls...) and Michael Ryan Andolsek, lighting designer Bradley King (Tony Awards Hadestown and Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812) and sound designer Connor Wang. Music direction is by Lily Ling (she/her) with music supervision by Matt Gallagher. Scott Rowen (he/him) is the production stage manager and Laura Jane Collins (she/her) the assistant stage manager. Mary McGowan (she/her) is the associate director, Justin Prescott (he/him) the associate choreographer, and Nicole D'Angelo (they/she) the music associate.

Photo credit: Brenna Merritt

Photos: See Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Haven Burton & More at HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO Opening Night
Alexandra Shiva

Photos: See Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Haven Burton & More at HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO Opening Night
Terry Sullivan, Jessica Sullivan, Caroline McKenzie, and Dr. Emilio Amigo

Photos: See Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Haven Burton & More at HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO Opening Night
Imani Russell, Conor Tague, Amelia Fei, Liam Pearce, Madison Kopec, Desmond Edwards, Ashley Wool

Photos: See Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Haven Burton & More at HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO Opening Night
Wilson Jermaine Heredia and Marina Pires

Photos: See Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Haven Burton & More at HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO Opening Night
Creative team members Mayte Natalio, Matt Gallagher, Sammi Cannold, Jacob Yandura, Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt, and Rebekah Greer Melocik

Photos: See Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Haven Burton & More at HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO Opening Night
Melina Kalomas, Nick Gaswirth, Darlesia Cearcy, Carlos L. Encinias, and Haven Burton

Photos: See Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Haven Burton & More at HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO Opening Night
Carlos L. Encinias, Elana Babbitt, Corinne Ferrer, Zach Simpson, Nicole Fazia, and Imri Leshed

Photos: See Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Haven Burton & More at HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO Opening Night
The cast

Photos: See Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Haven Burton & More at HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO Opening Night
Ashley Amigo and husband

Photos: See Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Haven Burton & More at HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO Opening Night
Sammy Lopez, Robert M. Hupp, Fiona Howe Rudin, Ben Holtzman, Jill A. Anderson

Photos: See Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Haven Burton & More at HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO Opening Night
Sarafina Bush

Photos: See Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Haven Burton & More at HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO Opening Night
Connor Wang

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