New York Developmental Reading Announced For New Musical 57 BUS

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New York Developmental Reading Announced For New Musical 57 BUS

A developmental reading of the new musical 57 BUS by RYAN M. LUEVANO and JILL HOFFMANN will be held in New York City on Monday February 24th. The reading will be directed by JUSTIN BRAUN, a NYC-based director who recently directed the Memphis premiere of Be More Chill. He holds an MFA in directing from the University of Memphis. Music direction will be by BRYAN BLASKIE.

57 BUS is inspired by a true event that took place on a bus in Oakland, California in 2013, when an 18-year-old agender high school student's skirt was set on fire by another student. The musical explores how the lives of these two children are changed forever. After being the victim of this "hate crime" Skylar is left to decide if the cost of self-expression in an intolerant world is worth the freedom of living as your true self. By re-evaluating Skylar's own pursuit for self-expression, they learn more about themselves and discover what they must do to find the path to healing.

The other student, John Michael, is seen as an attacker, however, given his background, and ultimate fate by the court, audiences must determine if he is perhaps also a victim. In the end, John Michael must decide to accept the consequences of his actions and find a way to rise against society's expectations and emerge out of his circumstances better than before.

Ryan M. Luévano said, "We remember searching for a topic for a musical in 2018 we stumbled upon a New York Times article from 2013 entitled: "The Fire on the 57 Bus in Oakland". Upon reading this article we immediately felt that there was more to this story and that this story could sing. This is more than just a tragic event, it's the story about the power of fate and how things can change in an instant. 57 BUS is a refreshingly honest look at the impact of intolerance on children and the power of understanding to achieve peace and ultimately break down the cycle of hate."

Jill Hoffmann said, "We're inspired to tell this story because its core themes such as: intolerance, self-expression, forgiveness, justice and peace are ever present in society, and if this story is told successfully, we hope audiences will see the superpower in giving love and acceptance for all."

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