Sunance Institute Theatre Lab to Workshop Adaptations of "Little Miss Sunshine," "Like Water for Chocolate"

Tony Award winning writers and composers William Finn, James Lapine and Ted Sperling, and Tony nominees Quiara Alegría Hudes and Jonathan Butterell are among the participants who will develop new musical projects at the White Oak Lab in Yulee, FL, in October.

William Finn and James Lapine will workshop an adaptation of the 2006 film hit "Little Miss Sunshine." Finn (FALSETTOS, A NEW BRAIN, ELEGIES, SPELLING BEE) has written the score while the book and direction is by James Lapine (FALSETTOS, SPELLING BEE, SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, PASSION). "The story follows the travails of the dysfunctional Hoover family as they make their way in a vintage yellow VW bus from Albuquerque to Southern California for a kid's beauty pageant," according to Sundance.

Quiara Alegría Hudes, a Tony nominee for her book to IN THE HEIGHTS and a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her play ELIOTT, A SOLDIER'S FUGUE, will be workshopping her stage adaptation of Laura Esquivel's 1989 best-selling novel "Like Water for Chocolate." The musical will have music and lyrics by Lila Downs, with additional music by Paul R. Cohen, and co-direction by Ted Sperling (THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, SOUTH PACIFIC, SEE WHAT I WANNA SEE) and Jonathan Butterell (GIANT, THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA). Michael Levine is set to design the production.

"Like Water for Chocolate," says Sundance, "is a romantic tale of food, magic and passion... [The musical] will be a feast for all the senses, incorporating Mexican cooking and the power of food, the magical realism of Mexican folk tales, and both contemporary and ancient theater techniques."

Sundance Institute Theatre Program runs annually in the fall, this year from October 25th - November 8th.  States Producing Artistic Director Philip Himberg, "This year's projects hold special meaning for Sundance Institute since the film versions both found audiences at the Sundance Film Festival, and we're thrilled that these well-loved stories will be finding new life on the stage. Although we have always supported both emerging and established artists, the Sundance Theatre Program has yet to have the opportunity to support either Mr. Lapine or Mr. Finn in the development of new work. It is also meaningful to be extending our lab to two International Artists - Lila Downs and Paul Cohen of Mexico City - who are crossing over to collaborate with American musical theater artists. In our eighth iteration of Sundance Institute Theatre Lab at White Oak, it is a great pleasure to support these two musical Theatre Projects."

Sundance Institute associate artist Janice Paran and Second Stage associate artistic director Chris Burney will serve as dramaturges for the White Oak Lab. Casting will be announced shortly.

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