Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

BMTW Holds Inaugural Staged Reading Of SENSE & SENSIBILITY On 5/9

The Berkshire Musical Theater Workshop, BMTW, will present its inaugural staged reading of the new musical, Sense & Sensibility, at Shakespeare & Company's Elayne P. Bernstein Theater, 70 Kemble Street, Lenox, MA on Saturday, May 9, at 2 P.M and 7:30 P.M. Sense & Sensibility, with music by Neal Hampton (The Chimes, Mona Lisa Smile) and book and lyrics by Jeffrey Haddow (Scrambled Feet, Chekhov in Yalta), has been developed in the prestigious BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop in New York, which has nurtured Broadway shows such as Avenue Q, Ragtime, and A Chorus Line.

The presentation is free to the public, however, reservations are required and can be made by emailing, or by calling (413) 637-3353. For further information or to make a tax-deductible donation to BMTW, please email, or visit Sense & Sensibility is a work in progress, and at this time, is not open to review, however, members of the media are welcome to attend.

Deborah Grausman, producer, and founder of BMTW, has assembled an all-star creative team for the organization's inaugural production. They include director, Sam Scalamoni (Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Lestat), Boston based conductor and music director, Amy Lieberman (New England Conservatory of Music), New York based production stage manager, Kat West (New York City Opera, The Public Theater, Prospect Theater Company), and New York casting director, Bob Cline (National Tours: Hairspray, Annie, Drowsy Chaperone). The cast will be comprised of Broadway veteran actors as well as local Berkshire actors.

Berkshire Musical Theater Workshop is an organization founded to help new musicals make the leap from page to stage. Its mission is to provide the writers of new musicals with a creative, supportive, and serene environment in which to collaborate with actors and directors to breathe life into their work. The weeklong workshop culminates in two staged readings with an opportunity for audience feedback so that the writers can further develop their work.

Sense & Sensibility tells the story of the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, who are as different as can be. Elinor is reserved, self-possessed, and rational to a fault, and Marianne is wildly romantic, emotionally uninhibited, and disdainful of half-measures. They struggle to cope with reduced circumstances and the pressure to marry well. Ecstasy, deception, dashed hopes, and near-tragedy lead them to discover profound truths that bring them closer together and ultimately put them within reach of true and lasting happiness. The lush, romantic score brings alive the repressed feelings, soaring emotions, and signature wit of Jane Austen in a totally new and exciting way.

"I am so excited to be launching this workshop with such a treasured story," says BTMW producer Deborah Grausman, who discovered the piece in New York. "Collaborating with artists in an environment conducive to creativity is exactly what this process is all about, and I look forward to working with the talented creative team and brilliant cast to further develop this winning show!"

"This story has all the perfect elements to musicalize," says Sam Scalamoni who is directing this staged reading for BMTW. "The passion of these characters is clear and the romance sincere."

Jeffrey Haddow received an LA Drama Critics Award for his play, Chekhov in Yalta, and his musical revue, Scrambled Feet, ran for two years Off-Broadway. The Legend of the Yellow Rose, a new opera for which he wrote the libretto, will debut at The Living Opera Company in Dallas, Texas this July. Mr. Haddow and Mr. Scalamoni are currently collaborating on Summer Stock, a musical based on the MGM film. Mr. Haddow is also developing At the Back of the North Wind, a family musical based on the classic novel.

Neal Hampton's music has been heard on A&E and The Discovery Channel. His adaptation of Charles Dickens' The Chimes (book, music, lyrics) was featured at the 2004 Birth of a Musical Festival in Boston and his choral arrangements can be heard in the Columbia Pictures release of Mona Lisa Smile. Recent guest conducting engagements include concerts with the Rhode Island Philharmonic and the Springfield (MA) Symphony. Mr. Hampton has served as the assistant conductor for the Young Artist's orchestra at Tanglewood and is on faculty at Brandeis University and Wellesley College where he is the conductor of the Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra.

Sam Scalamoni associate directed the Broadway productions of Disney's Beauty and the Beast and Lestat, and has supervised the National and the UK International Tours of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Recently, he directed the last two readings of Alan Menken's and Glen Slater's new musical, Leap of Faith, as well as the debut workshop of Mulan Jr. for Disney Theatrical Productions. In addition, Mr. Scalamoni is a founding member and the Managing Artistic Director of The Skyline Theatre Company in Bergen County, New Jersey.

Amy Lieberman is the Director of Choral Activities at the New England Conservatory of Music, and has taught piano, voice, and musical theater at Belvoir Terrace (Lenox, MA). She is currently a doctoral candidate in Choral and Orchestral conducting at Boston University and holds additional degrees from Stanford University and Yale University. Ms. Lieberman is the artistic director of ArtsAhimsa, an international performance series that explores the connection between the power of the arts and non-violent causes.

Deborah Grausman, a New York based actor/singer/voice-over artist met Mr. Hampton and Mr. Haddow two years ago when she was recommended to present their material at the BMI workshop and to sing on the Sense & Sensibility demo. She has appeared Off-Broadway and regionally in many musicals (A Stoop on Orchard Street, Peter Pan, The Flood), and her voice can be heard on national commercials and video games. She has spent many summers in the Berkshires at Tanglewood (Boston University Tanglewood Institute), Berkshire Theater Festival, and Belvoir Terrace.

Bob Cline has been a casting director in New York for 17 years. In addition to his commercial and film casting, he has cast over 50 National Tours and hundreds of regional theater productions. Most recently, Mr. Cline cast the National Tours of Hairspray, The Wedding Singer, Annie, Altar Boyz, and The Drowsy Chaperone.

Kat West has stage managed productions including La Bohème, Cavalleria Rusticana, and I Paggilacci at New York City Opera and Little Flower of East Orange at The Public Theater/LABrynith Theater Company. Ms. West is also the resident production stage manager at Prospect Theater Company in New York.

Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility has had other successful adaptations including the 1995 Columbia Pictures release starring Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, and Alan Rickman among others, and the BBC Television series that aired in 2008.

Casting for BMTW's production of Sense & Sensibility will be announced shortly. Early ticket reservations are strongly encouraged as public seating is limited.

Related Stories

More Hot Stories For You

New Rep Announces 2023 Season DirectorsNew Rep Announces 2023 Season Directors
March 31, 2023

New Repertory Theatre has announced the Directors for each of the plays of its 2023 Season, as the company continues to build on its nearly 40-year legacy of excellent, provocative theatrical productions that speak to the vital issues of our time.  

Provincetown CabaretFest Announces Lifetime Achievement Award for 2023
March 31, 2023

The  23rd Annual Provincetown CabaretFest “Sondheim By The Sea”  festival will be held June 5 – June 11 , 2023 at : The Commons, Brasswood Inn and The Crown & Anchor Inn. In Provincetown, MA.

Aida Rodriguez To Take The Stage At City Winery Boston, April 12Aida Rodriguez To Take The Stage At City Winery Boston, April 12
March 30, 2023

Multi-talent actress, comedian, and writer Aida Rodriguez will be bringing her unique brand of insightful and observational comedy to the City Winery Boston Wednesday, April 12, 2023.

The New England Foundation For The Arts Names Harold Steward As Next Executive DirectorThe New England Foundation For The Arts Names Harold Steward As Next Executive Director
March 30, 2023

The New England Foundation for the Arts announced that Harold Steward (they/he) will join the organization as the next executive director.

CHITA: THE RHYTHM OF MY LIFE is Coming to North Shore Music Theatre in MayCHITA: THE RHYTHM OF MY LIFE is Coming to North Shore Music Theatre in May
March 30, 2023

Come celebrate the one and only CHITA RIVERA in CHITA: THE RHYTHM OF MY LIFE, a unique concert event coming to North Shore Music Theatre on Sunday, May 7 at 2pm with special guest George Dvorsky.