Madison New Works Laboratory Opens Tonight To Develop New Works, Build New Stars

The Madison New Works Laboratory, conceived by Broadway veteran James Moye, will launch its inaugural performance tonight at 6:30pm, featuring the new musical Divided, at the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts at James Madison University.

Moye, along with JMU Musical Theatre professor Kate Arecchi, created the laboratory to serve as a nationally-recognized incubator for the development of new plays and musicals. The Forbes Center, which opened in 2010, has bolstered JMU's award-winning theatre, dance and music programs to create state-of-the-art production and transcendent experiences.

"JMU's theatre complex rivals any in the nation," Moye said. "Add the beautiful backdrop of the Shenandoah Valley, and you have the perfect summer retreat for playwrights and composers to develop their latest masterpieces."

The Madison New Works Laboratory opens with Divided tonight in the Recital Hall of the Forbes Center. Divided was written by Luanne Rosenfeld, directed by Jim Cooney and musically directed by Alex Marthaler. The workshop performance will feature Broadway actors, current JMU Theatre and Dance students and JMU alumni.

Divided underscores young love and old prejudice, set in a post-Civil War world that is defined by bitter divisions of race, religion and regional loyalties.

The second performance features the new play Trailer Saints and Basement Demons Friday, June 15 at 7:00pm in the Studio Theatre of the Forbes Center. Written by Briandaniel Oglesby and directed by Ingrid De Sanctis, this play is set in a small town in California and follows the intersecting journeys of Maria, Dirt, Dean and Ella.

JMU professor of dance Rubén Graciani will provide artistic direction for performances sponsored by the Madison New Works Laboratory.

The Forbes Center for the Performing Arts is located at 57 Warsaw Avenue in Harrisonburg, VA. For ticket and venue information, contact the Forbes Center at 540-568-7000.

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