Works by John Patrick Shanley, Jose Rivera and More Round Out Vassar & New York Stage and Film's 2016 Powerhouse Season
Vassar & New York Stage and Film announced today the complete list of programming for its 32nd Powerhouse Season, which runs June 24 to July 31 at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, including full productions of new plays, workshop presentations of new plays and musicals, and readings of other works in progress, among other developmental programming. Past highlights from this celebrated program include the recent Tony nominees Hamilton, Bright Star, and The Humans.
Newly announced projects include:
A musical workshop of Another Word for Beauty, with book by Academy Award nominee José Rivera, music and lyrics by Grammy winner Héctor Buitrago, and direction by Steven Cosson, will receive its East Coast premiere following an acclaimed world premiere engagement at Chicago's Goodman Theatre. Set during a beauty pageant at Colombia's notorious Buen Pastor prison, this new musical inspired by true stories is a soulful portrait of women who fight to transcend their dire circumstances.
Academy Award, Tony, and Pulitzer Prize winner John Patrick Shanley will return to Powerhouse with a reading of his latest comedy The Portuguese Kid. The Readings Series will now also feature Stephen Belber's We Are Among Us, Jocelyn Bioh's Nollywood Dreams, Dan LeFranc's Rancho Viejo, Stephen Nathan's The Ways of Necessity, and Tim Blake Nelson's Socrates,
Two "Inside Look" workshops will include the new play Fingersmith by Alexa Junge ("Friends", "The West Wing"), an adaptation of Sarah Waters' novel (short-listed for the Man Booker Prize) about a female pickpocket set in squalid and sexy Victorian England, with direction by Bill Rauch; and the return of Joanna Murray-Smith to Powerhouse, with her newest play Fury, with direction by Mark Brokaw.
As previously announced, the 32nd Powerhouse Season will be headlined by two fully-staged productions of new plays written and directed by women. Transfers (June 30 - July 10) written by Obie Award-winner Lucy Thurber (The Hill Town Plays, Scarcity) and directed by Jackson Gay (These Paper Bullets!, The Jammer, Where We're Born), portrays two young men from the Bronx as they vie for acceptance to an elite college, and how their shared past threatens to overshadow their bright futures. Class, ambition, and expectations are called into question when higher education - and its life-changing potential - is just within reach.
In Relentless Award winner Sarah DeLappe's The Wolves (July 21 - July 31), it's a Saturday in winter, somewhere in the suburbs, and a high school girls' soccer team warms up for its indoor game. They stretch in sync and their conversations spin around and off their turf, far outside the Air Dome bubble, and back again - a searing black comedy about the privilege and pain of nine American girls who just want to score some goals, directed by Lila Neugebauer (Wayside Motor Inn, 4000 Miles, Kill Floor).
The musical workshop presentations will include Taylor Mac's first-ever 12-hour marathon performance of material from A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, co-directed by Mac and Niegel Smith, for one day only, July 30, noon to midnight. In this wildly ambitious, multi-year project, Mac charts the history of popular music in America from the nation's founding in 1776 to the present day.
Another major feature of the musical workshops at Powerhouse will be a new adaptation of Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley's The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd by Santino Fontana, best known on Broadway for his Tony nominated work in Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella as well as acclaimed work in Act One, among many others. Fontana has been commissioned by Roundabout Theatre Company to adapt this classic work. He will also star in the workshop.
Artists with extensive stage and screen backgrounds will also be featured this summer, including Emmy-nominated star of "Mad Men" John Slattery who will direct a reading of Lorien Haynes' new play Good Grief; and "How I Met Your Mother" star Josh Radnor, a Powerhouse regular who will bring his first-ever play, Sacred Valley, to the Reading Series.
Additionally, the Powerhouse Season will provide an artistic residency for the new musical Head Over Heels, with a book by Jeff Whitty and music by The Go-Go's, directed by Michael Mayer with musical supervision by Tom Kitt. Mayer and Kitt did a similar collaboration during the development of the Green Day musical American Idiot at Powerhouse. This residency will not be presented to the public.
Members of the noted Powerhouse Theater Training Program will present Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway, adapted and directed by Mark Lindberg while Andrew Willis-Woodward will direct a reimagining of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Young actors, playwrights, and directors from around the country and internationally, along with an exceptional faculty of artists, comprise this important component of the Powerhouse artistic community.
The Powerhouse Season is a vital incubator for artists and their work, and can count over twenty projects which recently had or will soon have major productions, including: The Fortress of Solitude, by Michael Friedman and Itamar Moses (Public Theater & Dallas Theater Center); Michael John LaChiusa and Sybille Pearson's Rain, The Last Match, by Anna Ziegler, and In Your Arms (The Old Globe); Found, by Hunter Bell, Eli Bolin & Lee Overtree (Atlantic Theater Company, Philadelphia Theater Co.); Ayad Akhtar's Junk (La Jolla Playhouse) and The Invisible Hand (New York Theatre Workshop); Hadestown, by Anais Mitchell (NYTW); Dry Land, by Ruby Rae Spiegel (Colt Coeur at HERE); The House That Will Not Stand by Marcus Gardley (Berkeley Rep, Yale Rep); Big Sky by Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros (The Geffen); and Ripcord, by David Lindsay-Abaire (Manhattan Theatre Club).
Casting will be announced at a later date. Subscriptions will be available online May 12, and single tickets will go on sale online May 17 at powerhouse.vassar.edu.
Now in its 32nd year, Powerhouse Theater is a collaboration between New York Stage and Film and Vassar College dedicated to both emerging and established artists in the development and production of new works for theater and film. The Powerhouse program consists of an eight-week residency on the Vassar campus during which more than 250 professional artists and 40 participants in the Powerhouse Training Program live and work together to create new theater works. Recent highlights at Powerhouse include Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton; Bright Star, an original musical from Steve Martin and Edie Brickell; The Fortress of Solitude, Itamar Moses, Michael Friedman and Daniel Aukin's musical adaptation of the best-selling novel by Jonathan Lethem, and Richard Greenberg's The Babylon Line. Many additional shows from past seasons have found their way to Broadway, Off-Broadway, and theaters nationwide, including Stephen Karam's Sons of the Prophet and The Humans (Roundabout Theater); The Invisible Hand by Ayad Akhtar (NYTW), Found by Hunter Bell, Lee Overtree and Eli Bolin (Atlantic Theater Co), Michael Mayer and Peter Lerman's Brooklynite (Vineyard Theater), Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash's Murder Ballad (Manhattan Theater Club); and Pulitzer finalist Nathan Englander's The Twenty-Seventh Man (The Public Theater; Old Globe Theater);. Other projects developed at the Powerhouse include the Tony Award-winning Side Man and Tru; the multi-award-winning Doubt by John Patrick Shanley; the groundbreaking Broadway musical American Idiot, and A Steady Rain, produced on Broadway in 2009 with Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig.
New York Stage and Film (Johanna Pfaelzer, Artistic Director; Thomas Pearson, Executive Director; Mark Linn-Baker, Max Mayer, Leslie Urdang, Producing Directors) is a not-for-profit company dedicated to both emerging and established artists in the development of new works for theater and film. Since 1985 New York Stage and Film has played a significant role in the development of new plays, provided a home for a diverse group of artists free from critical and commercial pressures, and established itself as a vital cultural institution for residents of the Hudson Valley and the New York metropolitan region www.newyorkstageandfilm.org.
Vassar College (Ed Cheetham, Michael Sheehan, Producing Directors) is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861. Consistently ranked as one of the country's best liberal arts colleges, Vassar is renowned for its long history of curricular innovation, and for the natural and architectural beauty of its campus. More than 50 academic departments and degree programs - from Anthropology to Cognitive Sciences to Urban Studies - encompass the arts, foreign languages, natural sciences, and social sciences, and combine to offer a curriculum of more than 1,000 courses. Vassar College is sited in New York's beautiful Hudson Valley in Poughkeepsie, NY. Visit www.vassar.edu for more.