Laura Eason, Gabriel Barre, et al. Set for O'Neill's Music Theatre Conference


Paulette Haupt, Artistic Director of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Music Theater Conference, today announced directors for music theater selections previously announced:

Laura Eason, whose recent credits as a director and writer include productions at Lookingglass, Baltimore Centerstage, and Kansas City Repertory, will direct Unknown Soldier, (music by Michael Friedman, lyrics by Michael Friedman and Daniel Goldstein; book by Daniel Goldstein). Thomas Murray, a four-time recipient of the Joseph Jefferson Award for music-direction, will serve as Music Director.

Gabriel Barre will direct Son of a Gun, (music and lyrics by Don Chaffer; book by Chris Cragin and Don Chaffer); Barre has recently returned from directing the world premiere of Frank Wildhorn's Tears of Heaven, in Seoul, Korea. Matt Hinkley will serve as Music Director; Hinkley's musical direction, supervision, and associate credits include such works as Rooms (Off-Broadway), Bloodsong of Love (Ars Nova), and The Burnt Part Boys (Playwrights Horizons).

May Adrales, who recently directed world premieres at Actors Theater of Louisville and the Goodman Theatre, will direct Suprema (music and lyrics by Daniel Zaitchik; book by JorDan Harrison). Julie McBride will serve as Music Director; McBride's Broadway credits include American Idiot, Next to Normal, In the Heights, The Addams Family, and The Lion King.

Joe Calarco, a returning NMTC director and a recent Drama Desk nominee for the New York premiere of In Transit, will direct The Shadow Sparrow, (music by Keith Gordon, lyrics by Charlie Sohne; book by Anton Dudley). David Libby will serve as Music Director; Libby is currently in collaboration with EMI Music Publishing and Thomas Meehan on a new work, Chasing Rainbows, a musical about the early life of Judy Garland.

Writers in Residence, Donna DiNovelli and Heidi Rodewald will be collaborating on a new musical, Against You, a free adaptation of Antigone set in the 1960's during the Conference. DiNovelli, known for her work as Librettist for Rachel Portman's Little House on the Prairie, will premiere her opera, Heart of a Soldier, with music by Chirstopher Theofanidis, at San Francisco Opera this upcoming September. Rodewald co-wrote the Tony Award nominated musical Passing Strange, which also claimed a Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Musical and two Obie Awards for Best New American Theater Piece and Best Ensemble in 2008.

Since its inception in 1978, the National Music Theater Conference, scheduled this year for June 25 to July 15 at the O'Neill Campus in Waterford, Connecticut, has been the premiere program for the development of new music theater. Many works and creators from past Conferences have gone on to receive prestigious recognition worldwide, including: In the Heights (2005 NMTC), Avenue Q (2002 NMTC), Nine (1979 NMTC), The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (1998 NMTC), Violet (1994 NMTC), and Captains Courageous (1990 NMTC).

Box office ( 860.443.1238 ) and online ticket sales ( open Wednesday, June 8; advance ticket sales are currently available to O'Neill Members.

For further information on the National Music Theater Conference and scheduled public performances, email

The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, founded in 1964 in honor of Eugene O'Neill, four-time Pulitzer Prize Winner and America's only playwright to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, is the country's preeminent organization dedicated to the development of new works and new voices for the American theater. The O'Neill has been home to more than 1,000 new works for the stage and 2,500 emerging artists. Scores of projects developed at the O'Neill have gone on to full production at other theaters around the world, including Broadway, Off-Broadway and major regional theaters.

O'Neill programs include the National Playwrights Conference, National Music Theater Conference, National Critics Institute, National Puppetry Conference, the Cabaret & Performance Conference, and National Theater Institute, which conducts semester-long, fully accredited intensive theater training programs and Theatermakers, a six-week accredited summer program.

In addition, the O'Neill owns and operates Monte Cristo Cottage as a museum open to the public. Childhood summer home of Eugene O'Neill, the Cottage is a National Historic Landmark.

The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center has received the 2010 Tony Award for Regional Theater, a special Tony Award for Theatrical Excellence in 1979, the National Opera Award, the Jujamcyn Award for Theatre Excellence, and the Arts and Business Council Encore Award. For more information, visit or email

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