Two River Theater Announces The Commission Of A New Musical Based On The Band Fanny

By: Sep. 18, 2018
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Two River Theater Announces The Commission Of A New Musical Based On The Band Fanny

It is considered by many to be the greatest all-female rock band of all time. Its members were pioneers-all four composed, sang, and played their own instruments, in the face of a music business determined to exploit them, and in a time and a world incapable of accepting them. The band lasted four years, from 1970-1974, but has never received the recognition it deserved. "One of the most important female bands in American rock has been buried without a trace," David Bowie told Rolling Stone in a 1999 interview. "And that is Fanny.... They're as important as anybody else who's ever been, ever; it just wasn't their time. Revivify Fanny. And I will feel that my work is done."

Now, the story of Fanny-June Millington (guitar, vocals), Jean Millington (bass, vocals), Alice de Buhr (drums, vocals), and Nickey Barclay (keyboards, vocals)-will come to the stage in an original musical entitled Play Like a Girl: The Amazing Life & Times of a Band Named Fanny, commissioned by Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ. Play Like a Girl will be written by Jessica Hagedorn, based on an original idea by David Crommett.

The foremothers to all the women rockers who have followed-including The Runaways, The Go-Go's, and the Bangles-the women of Fanny were brilliant musicians, songwriters, and performers, on par with the best of rock's golden era.

"Fanny was a showcase for the swagger of long-haired, bell-bottomed, fierce femmes at the dawn of the women's liberation movement," NPR's Ann Powers wrote on February 14, 2018, in appreciation of the recent release of Fanny Walked the Earth. They wrote and performed at a time when sexism, racism, and class discrimination were pervasive. Nearly 50 years later, Play Like a Girl: The Amazing Life & Times of a Band Named Fanny recovers Fanny's music, and the times and the lives that created it. It is a celebration of rock, of survival, and most of all, womanhood.

"I'm delighted to be working with the Two River Theater team on such a timely and exciting project about the trailblazing, all-women rock band, Fanny," says Hagedorn, who was born in Manila, raised in San Francisco (where she had her own band, The Gangster Choir), and now lives in New York.

Play Like a Girl: The Amazing Life & Times of a Band Named Fanny has been commissioned and will be developed by Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey. Since 2010, the theater has produced the world or American premieres of 13 original plays and musicals (five of them commissions) including Be More Chill by Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz, which is now playing a sold-out Off-Broadway run and will move to Broadway in February 2019.

For more information about Fanny, visit

Jessica Hagedorn Bio

Jessica Hagedorn is the author of Toxicology, Dream Jungle, The Gangster of Love, Danger and Beauty, and Dogeaters, which won the American Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award in fiction. An alumna of the Sundance Theatre Lab and the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, her theater work includes the stage adaptations of Dogeaters and The Gangster of Love, collaborations with composer Fabian Obispo (Felix Starro), composer Mark Bennett (Most Wanted), Ntozake Shange & Thulani Davis (Where the Mississippi Meets the Amazon), Robbie McCauley & Laurie Carlos (Teenytown), Han Ong (Airport Music), Urban Bushwomen (Heat), Blondell Cummings (The Art of War/Nine Situations), and Campo Santo (Stairway To Heaven, Fe in the Desert). Hagedorn edited both volumes of Charlie Chan Is Dead: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Fiction, and Manila Noir, a crime fiction anthology. Prizes and honors include the Hewlett, Gerbode Foundation Playwriting Fellowship, the Guggenheim Fiction Fellowship, the Lucille Lortel Playwriting Fellowship, and the Philippine National Book Award.

For more info visit:


Two River Theater is supported in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Monmouth University, The Shubert Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Riverview Medical Center, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation at The Atrium at Navesink Harbor, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Jorgensen Foundation, US Trust, Wells Fargo, William T. Morris Foundation, Kessler Foundation, Investors Foundation, The John Ben Snow Foundation, VNA Health Group, Brookdale Community College, and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.


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