Will Chase, Skylar Astin, Erica Schmidt Lead Vineyard's THE BURNT PART BOYS 6/6

Vineyard Theatre announces cast and creative team for Lab Production of new musical THE BURNT PART BOYS Developmental Lab Production set to conclude June 6 at The Vineyard Theatre

Ensemble cast includes Will Chase ("The Story of My Life") and Skylar Astin ("Spring Awakening")
Erica Schmidt ("Humor Abuse") to direct.

THE BURNT PART BOYS -- a new musical by Mariana Elder (book), Nathan Tysen (lyrics) and Chris Miller (music) -- will conclude its developmental Lab Production on June 6 at The Vineyard Theatre (108 East 15th Street) in Manhattan. Erica Schmidt (HUMOR ABUSE) directs.

The cast of the developmental Lab Production of THE BURNT PART BOYS includes David Abeles, Skylar Astin (SPRING AWAKENING), Al Calderon (13), Will Chase (THE STORY OF MY LIFE), Kevin Csolak, Andrew Durand, John Schippa (BLOOD BROTHERS), Timothy Warmen (THE WHO'S TOMMY), and Bubba Weiler.

The creative team for the Lab Production includes Vadim Feichtner (music director), Derek McLane (scenic consultant), Kaye Voyce (costume consultant), David Weiner (lighting consultant), Brett Jarvis (sound consultant).

THE BURNT PART BOYS is set in West Virginia in 1962. The musical follows a group of teenagers whose fathers were killed ten years earlier in a tragic coal mining accident. When they learn that the mine will be reopened, they set out secretly in the hopes of seeing the site, and keeping it closed. A deeply moving and powerful odyssey, THE BURNT PART BOYS is an unforgettable coming of age tale, set to a haunting and distinctive bluegrass and pop-inspired score.

Composer Chris Miller and Lyricist Nathan Tysen were the 2008 winners of The Vineyard's Kitty Carlisle Hart Musical Theatre Award, as well as the Jonathan Larson Award and the Richard Rodgers Award. Their collaborations include FUGITIVE SONGS, presented off-Broadway last season, and THE MYSTERIES OF HARRIS BURDICK (book by Joe Calarco), which received a workshop production at Barrington Stage in 2008. Book writer Mariana Elder's plays, sketch comedy, and musicals have been performed across the country, including Barrington Stage Co., Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Director's Lab, Theatre for a New City, and Manhattan Theater Source.

Director Erica Schmidt's recent credits include the critically acclaimed premiere of Lorenzo Pisoni's solo play HUMOR ABUSE at Manhattan Theatre Club, which recently received Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle and Obie awards. Other credits include UNCLE VANYA at Bard Summerscape, as well as the Tokyo production of RENT, CARNIVAL at Paper Mill Playhouse, AS YOU LIKE IT at The Public, and DEBBIE DOES DALLAS at the Jane Street Playhouse.

The Vineyard Theatre's Lab Production of THE BURNT PART BOYS follows Labs of several acclaimed projects which went on to receive full productions at The Vineyard in subsequent seasons, including Adam Rapp's THE METAL CHILDREN (world-premiere 2009-10), Ricky Ian Gordon and Tina Landau's DREAM TRUE, Polly Pen's BED AND SOFA and Nicky Silver's PTERODACTYLS. Vineyard Lab productions are not open to review, and run approximately 2 or 3 weeks, during which time the creative team is in residence, making changes nightly, refining and developing the work.

The Vineyard's lab production of THE BURNT PART BOYS is made possible in part by the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation New York Theater Program, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Maurer Family Foundation.

As previously announced, THE BURNT PART BOYS will have an innovative production and development schedule on its way to an Off-Broadway premiere in the spring of 2010, when it will be presented as a co-production by Playwrights Horizons and The Vineyard Theatre.

Following The Vineyard Theatre developmental Lab Production -- not open for review -- at The Vineyard from May 26 to June 6, 2009, THE BURNT PART BOYS will be presented this summer at New York Stage and Film at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, and will then receive its New York City premiere in spring of 2010.

This developmental process is made possible in part by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's Playwrights Horizons Musicals in Partnership Initiative for the development of new musicals in partnership with a regional theatre, wholly within the non-profit system from start to finish.

The Vineyard Theatre opens its 2009-10 season in September with the Off-Broadway premiere of A BOY AND HIS SOUL, a new play that explores the life-experiences of a young African-American man in 1980s Philadelphia, performed and written by Colman Domingo, best known for his roles on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning PASSING STRANGE and on Logo TV's "The Big Gay Sketch Show."

Douglas Aibel is the Artistic Director of Vineyard Theatre; Jennifer Garvey-Blackwell is Executive Director.

Remaining performances of the Lab Production of THE BURNT PART BOYS run at The Vineyard Theatre (108 East 15th Street) through June 6 only: Thursday and Friday at 8pm; Saturday at 3pm and 8pm. Tickets are $25; a limited number of $20 rush tickets will be available at the box office only, 2 hours prior to curtain, based on availability. For reservations and additional information, call 212-353-0303 or visit www.vineyardtheatre.org

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