THE WORLD ACCORDING TO SNOOPY to Receive World Premiere in Texas
Texas State University Department of Theatre and Dance in association with Harrison/Bowman New Works Commission is proud to bring The World According to Snoopy, a revised version of the classic musical Snoopy!!! to the stage in February 2017.
Following the world premiere at Texas State University on February 14-19 at the Patti Strickel Harrison Theatre, The World According to Snoopy will make its regional premiere at Theatre Under The Stars (Zilkha Hall) in Houston, TX June 7-18, 2017. This is a unique collaboration and joint production with Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) and the Humphreys School of Musical Theatre. The premiere coincides with the 50th anniversary of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
The World According to Snoopy is a brand new re-imagining of the off-Broadway and London productions of the musical Snoopy!!! (Music and lyrics by Larry Grossman and Hal Hackady, with book by Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, Warren Lockhart, Arthur Whitelaw and Michael L. Grace).
This musical features Charles M. Schulz's iconic Peanuts characters Charlie Brown, Sally, Peppermint Patty, Lucy, Linus, and Woodstock, under the guidance of the consummate showman Snoopy, as they sing and dance their way through witty philosophies about love and life as only The Peanuts gang can. In addition to a beloved score featuring songs like "Just One Person", "Edgar Allan Poe" and "Poor Sweet Baby", this new production introduces a new song for Sally with music by award-winning composer Larry Grossman (Minnie's Boys, Goodtime Charley) and lyrics by award-winning composer/lyricist Andrew Lippa (You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown Broadway Revival, Big Fish). With fresh orchestrations and a revised book, audiences can expect The Peanuts characters to dance more than ever before.
Theatre Under The Stars Artistic Advisor, Sheldon Epps says, "This a wonderfully exciting collaboration for TUTS. Developing new material for the canon of the American musical theatre, nurturing new artists, and working with well-respected training programs is both a privilege and great opportunity for any major theatre company. It will also bring to TUTS some highly experienced and much to be respected artists."
The World According to Snoopy was first produced in a workshop presentation by the Texas State Department of Theatre and Dance as part of the Harrison/Bowman New Works Commission in the spring of 2015. It was directed by the head of musical theater at Texas State University, Broadway actress Kaitlin Hopkins (Noises Off, Batboy, Bare), choreographed by Adam Cates (Anastasia, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder), with musical supervision by Snoopy composer, Larry Grossman and musical direction and orchestrations by Greg Bolin. Hopkins has a familial connection to Peanuts on stage as her late father, Gene Persson, was co-producer of both the original 1967 off Broadway production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, as well as the Tony-winning Broadway revival in 1999. Hopkins, Cates and Grossman all contributed to the revised book.
This family friendly show stars a cast of Texas State University musical theater students Ryne Nardecchia (Snoopy), Nick Eibler (Woodstock), Grayson Samuels (Charlie Brown), Maggie Bera (Lucy), Adria Swan (Peppermint Patty), Raegan Roberts (Sally), Ty Taylor (Linus), and covers Jacob Burns, Daniel Miller, Grace Muawad, and Cristina Oeschger.
This production features the work of Michelle Ney (scenic designer), Sally E. Rath (costume designer), Ethan Jones (lighting designer), Phillip Owen (Sound Designer), Erin Kehr (props), Andrew McIntyre (projections), Greg Bolin (orchestrations and musical director), and Cassie Abate (associate choreographer).
Larry Grossman is an award-winning composer, having written for Broadway, television, film, concerts and cabaret. His Broadway credits include: Minnie's Boys (The Marx Brothers Musical), Goodtime Charley, A Doll's Life (Tony and Drama Desk nominations) and Grind (Tony and Drama Desk nominations). Other credits include Irish Repertory's A Christmas Memory (Outer Critics Circle nomination) and Snoopy!!!, which has been performed in six languages and received an Olivier Award nomination for its London production. He has received 6 Emmys (a total of 17 nominations), as well as a Peabody Award for his contributions to The Muppet Show. He has written musical material for over 100 network specials, including four Oscar telecasts, the Emmys and the Tony's.
Hal Hackady was an award winning American lyricist, librettist, and screenwriter. In addition to writing the lyrics for Snoopy!!!, Hal wrote for Broadway, West End, film and television. His Broadway credits include Minnie's Boys, Goodtime Charley, Almost Crazy, Ambassador, and Teddy and Alice. He also wrote the lyrics for Eddie Fisher's classic hit "Without You".
Adam Cates was the associate choreographer for the Tony-winning Broadway musical, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder, and the upcoming musical Anastasia. He has choreographed and/or directed musicals, concerts and opera for Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Music Theatre Wichita, Gulfshore Playhouse, New York Musical Theatre Festival, Little Orchestra Society at Lincoln Center, The Juilliard Opera, Feinstein's/54 Below, Anchorage Opera, New London Barn Playhouse and several universities. Other credits as an associate or assistant include Anything Goes (Broadway), Tommy Tune's Doctor Dolittle (national tour), productions for Lincoln Center, NY City Center, Goodspeed, Paper Mill Playhouse, Hartford Stage, The Old Globe, Santa Fe Opera, and Seattle Opera, and television episodes of 90210 (CW Network) and Live from Lincoln Center (PBS). He teaches at Broadway Dance Center and Steps in NYC and is author of The Business of Show.
Andrew Lippa wrote the music and lyrics for Big Fish, book by John August, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, which ran at the Neil Simon Theater on Broadway in 2013. His concept opera, I Am Harvey Milk (words and music), was premiered by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus. That recording, released in October 2013, reached number 2 on the iTunes Classical Chart, and the piece has had over 20 productions worldwide. He wrote the Tony-nominated music and lyrics for the Broadway musical The Addams Family, which starred Nathan Lane. His musical The Wild Party (book/music/lyrics) won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical and the Drama Desk Award for Best Music. His new songs for the 1999 revival of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, along with his production of the cast recording, earned him a 2000 Grammy nomination. He serves as president of the Dramatists Guild Fund and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
Kaitlin Hopkins is an award-winning actress, director, producer and educator, and has worked in theater, film, television, and radio for over 30 years. She currently heads the BFA Musical Theatre program at Texas State University, named one of the top 10 musical theatre programs in the nation by collegemagazine.com. She has received multiple Austin Critics' Table awards for her work as a director. As an actress her credits include, Broadway: Noises Off and How the Grinch Stole Christmas; Off Broadway: Batboy (Drama Desk nomination), Bare, Nicky Silvers' Beautiful Child, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, as well as numerous regional and touring credits. She has also appeared in over 50 television and film roles including three years as Dr. Kelsey Harrison on NBC's Another World. Hopkins has had an eclectic career as a speaker and entrepreneur, with her recent Tedx Talk on mental health and performing artists garnering national acclaim. She is President of Fontus Sciences, which produces and distributes a dry throat lozenge she created, available across the country. Fontus is the lozenge of choice for many Broadway and touring companies.
Theatre Under The Stars is Houston's premiere musical theatre and education non-profit organization. For over 40 years, The Humphreys School of Musical Theatre (HSMT) has been equipping young people with the tools they need to be successful in musical theatre and in life. Today, HSMT is Houston's only technique-based performing arts training, and is fully committed to providing the Houston area with the very best in theatrical training and performing arts education.
This production of The World According to Snoopy is made possible through special arrangement with the Actor's Equity Association and Tams Witmark.
For additional information, please contact the Texas State Department of Theatre and Dance at (512) 245-2147.