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Austin Playhouse Returns To Live Performance With A New Musical Workshop

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The Battlefields of Clara Barton plays at Stateside at the Paramount, July 11-13.

Austin Playhouse Returns To Live Performance With A New Musical Workshop

Austin Playhouse announces a workshop production of the new musical The Battlefields of Clara Barton by Suzan Zeder and Jenn Hartmann Luck.

Directed by Lara Toner Haddock with Music Direction by Lena Gabrielle, this concert version workshop will play Stateside at the Paramount July 11-13, 2021. Tickets on sale Thursday, June 17 at AustinTheatre.org.

The Battlefields of Clara Barton has been in development with The Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Texas since 2018 and with American Music Theatre Project since early 2020. The show and receive an in-person workshop performance at Northwestern University this fall.

"Jenn and Suzan have created this amazing musical filled with fantastic characters, several of whom are Clara Barton! Battlefields takes this historical figure and really opens up her story in an emotionally impactful way. And the music is incredible. Being part of the journey to bring this new work to life is the best possible way I could imagine returning to live performance," expressed Austin Playhouse Producing Artistic Director, Lara Toner Haddock.

The Battlefields of Clara Barton is a folk/rock/historical/contemporary musical about the life of Clara Barton; Civil War nurse, political activist, revered founder of the American Red Cross. In a tumultuous life that spanned almost a century, Clara fought on many battlefields: historical, political, and emotional. Clara's story is brought to vibrant life by an ensemble of women, playing multiple roles, where age and gender are fluid. Diverse means of storytelling captures the chaos and complexity of the times. The threads of Clara's life run from past to present with seamless synchronicity, creating a rich tapestry of themes as personal and potent today as they were in Clara's times.

"The AMTP reading of The Battlefields of Clara Barton was originally scheduled for May 2020. We had the cast and team assembled and were fully ready when COVID-19 disrupted everything. We postponed...and postponed again, but the team stayed together and used the time to dive deeper into the piece. The team, comprised of professionals and current students, met monthly to check-in, and talk about the script and score. There was even a virtual table reading in the winter, where the cast was all Northwestern faculty members. With over a year of virtual development and conversations, Suzan and Jenn have made major rewrites and I can't wait to see this musical on a stage with a live audience," said Brannon Bowers, Producing Artistic Director at American Music Theatre Project.

The cast includes Michelle Alexander, Espy Biehle, Charlite Brooks, Claire Grasso, Bella Ouellette, Laura Huffman Powell, Sarah Fleming Walker, Lara Wright, and Sarah Zeringue.

The production team also includes Lena Gabrielle as Music Director, Ezri Killeen as Assistant Music Director, Kenedi Delgado as Stage Manager, and Robert Fisher as Sound Designer. Collin Quinn Rice designed the promotional graphics.


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