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Shoshana Bean, Susan Blackwell and More Announced for City Center Encores! Off-Center 2018 Season!

Shoshana Bean, Susan Blackwell and More Announced for City Center Encores! Off-Center 2018 Season!

Encores! Off-Center Co-Artistic Directors Anne Kauffman and Jeanine Tesori today announced casting for New York City Center's popular summer musical theater series Encores! Off-Center.

Songs for A New World, Jason Robert Brown's 1995 breakout musical about life, love, and the choices ordinary people make when faced with extraordinary moments, will star Shoshana Bean, Mykal Kilgore, and Solea Pfeiffer.

The production will also feature choreography by Rennie Harris for an ensemble of dancers being added to the cast for the Off Center engagement. Songs for A New World will be directed by Kate Whoriskey, with music direction by Tom Murray.

John Behlmann, Susan Blackwell, Aysan Celik, Deborah S. Craig, and Taylor Mac will star in the special two-night-only engagement of Gone Missing, presented in honor of composer and 2017 Encores! Artistic Director Michael Friedman.

This wry and whimsical docu-musical was created by The Civilians from interviews with real people about physical objects they'd lost and offers a very personal account of how we deal with loss in our lives. Directed by Ken Rus Schmoll, with music direction by Chris Fenwick, the production will also feature choreography by Karla Garcia.

The cast for Micki Grant and Vinnette Carroll's Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope (1971), the radical and irreverent protest-cycle that laid bare the political issues facing the African American community, includes Malik Akil, Alexandria Bradley, C.K. Edwards, Shonica Gooden, Marla McReynolds, and Allysa Shorte. Savion Glover will direct and choreograph the production with music direction by Chris Fenwick.

Also this summer, The Civilians will team up with New York City Center as Artists-in-Residence for The Lobby Project, a series of free, pre-performance events presented in conjunction with Encores! Off-Center productions. Utilizing The Civilians' unique brand of artistic and journalistic exploration, a group of up-and-coming composers will create three original, 25-minute docu-musicals based on and inspired by interviews with each of the season's original creative teams, as well as other artists and community members who have been affected by the legacy of the shows.

As Artists-in-Residence, The Civilians aim to illuminate their creative process for The Lobby Project attendees by exploring the impact the original productions have had on audiences and artists alike. The Civilians will perform these original docu-musicals, with the corresponding production, in the Grand Tier Lobby one hour before the performance. The performances will be recorded and later released as podcasts. There will be no Lobby Project performance on June 27 or July 25.

Additional casting will be announced later.

Encores! Off-Center was founded in 2013 with the mission of presenting Off-Broadway musicals that pushed creative boundaries when they were first produced. Filtered through the lens of today's artists, these shows are presented not as historical documents but as living, vital works that continue to resonate with audiences. The New York Times has called Encores! Off-Center "a summer theater highlight," with past productions including Violet with Sutton Foster; tick, tick...BOOM! with Lin-Manuel Miranda; A New Brain with Jonathan Groff; Little Shop of Horrors with Ellen Greene and Jake Gyllenhaal; Elizabeth Swados's Runaways; and The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin with Nikki M. James.

In keeping with City Center's founding mission to make the arts accessible to all, many OffCenter tickets are $25. Tickets can be purchased online at NYCityCenter.org, by calling 212.581.1212, or in person at the City Center Box Office. New York City Center is located at 131 W 55th St, between Sixth and Seventh avenues.



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