Yellow Sound Label & Playwrights Horizons Release Original Cast Recording of Musical IOWA
Playwrights Horizons (Artistic Director, Tim Sanford; Managing Director, Leslie Marcus) has announced that the score for their World Premiere production of the musical IOWA has been preserved as an Original Cast Recording, produced by Michael Croiter (Matilda, The Visit, Big Fish) and Todd Almond. IOWA is written by Jenny Schwartz (God's Ear, Somewhere Fun) with music by Todd Almond (Girlfriend) and lyrics by Ms. Schwartz and Mr. Almond.
The CD release date is set for Friday, April 28. Hard copies are available for purchase on yellowsoundlabel.com and phnyc.org/bookshop, and the original cast recording is also available digitally on iTunes and Amazon. The album features performances by original cast members Cindy Cheung, April Matthis, Annie McNamara, Karyn Quackenbush, Carolina Sanchez, Lee Sellars, Jill Shackner and Kolette Tetlow.
IOWA opened at Playwrights Horizons' Peter Jay Sharp Theater on March 13, 2015. The production was directed by two-time Obie Award winner Ken Russ Schmoll (Antlia Pneumatica at Playwrights; Judy, The Internationalist).
IOWA featured scenic design by Dane Laffrey, costume design by Arnulfo Maldonado, lighting design by Tyler Micoleau, sound design by Daniel Kluger, and music direction by J. Oconer Navarro. Production Stage Manager was Richard A. Hodge.
Iowa was developed with the generous participation of the Bats at the Flea Theatre; workshopped as part of the Frederick Loewe Award, a program of New Dramatists; and developed at the 2013 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab at MASS MoCA. Special thanks to The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust for supporting new plays at Playwrights Horizons. Special thanks to the Time Warner Foundation for its leadership support of the New Works lab at Playwrights Horizons.
Mom (Ms. Quackenbush) found her soul-mate on Facebook, and he (Mr. Sellars) lives in Iowa. So Becca (Ms. Shackner) says goodbye to her beloved math teacher (Mr. Sellars), bulimic best friend (Ms. Sanchez), neighborhood pony (the very busy Mr. Sellars) and her mildly deficient teenage life, and she follows her wayward mother to a new, uncharted beginning. But in this fanciful, absurdist and intoxicating musical play from the imagination of Jenny Schwartz and Todd Almond, nothing can prepare them for what they'll find.
Jenny Schwartz (Playwright/Lyrics). Plays include God's Ear, Somewhere Fun, Cause for Alarm and 41-derful. Jenny directed 41-derful for Clubbed Thumb's Summerworks 2014. Somewhere Fun premiered at the Vineyard Theatre in 2013, directed by Anne Kauffman. God's Ear was produced in New York by New Georges and the Vineyard Theatre, also directed by Anne Kauffman. God's Ear has been produced nationally and internationally from Lisbon, Portugal to Boise, Idaho to Sydney, Australia. With Todd Almond, Jenny was the 2012 recipient of the Frederick Loewe Award for Musical Theatre to support the development of Iowa at New Dramatists. Iowa was also developed at Sundance Theatre Institute Theatre Lab at Mass / MoCA. Other awards and honors include the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Benjamin H. Danks Award in Drama, a Kesselring honor, two grants from Lincoln Center's Lecomte Du Nuoy Foundation, and Soho Rep's Dorothy Streslin Playwriting Fellowship. God's Ear and Somewhere Fun were both finalists for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award. Jenny chairs the Soho Rep Writer / Director Lab with Ken Rus Schmoll and teaches playwriting at Playwrights Horizons Theatre School / NYU Tisch. She received an MFA in Theatre Directing from Columbia University, is a graduate of Juilliard's playwriting program and is a member of both The Clubbed Thumb Writers Group and New Dramatists.
Todd Almond (Music/Lyrics) is a composer, lyricist and playwright. Previously at Playwrights Horizons, he wrote the music for (and performed in) Sarah Ruhl's Stage Kiss. He most recently wrote and performed in his theatricalized concept album Kansas City Choir Boy, co-starring Courtney Love, as part of the Prototype Festival at HERE. He also recently collaborated with director Lear deBessonet on an adaptation of The Tempest at the Delacorte Theatre for The Public Theater's Public Works program; Todd wrote music and lyrics, and played Ariel in this production, which featured a cast of 200 people, and received rave reviews. Todd's musicals include the book of Girlfriend (using new arrangements of Matthew Sweet's eponymous cult album) which premiered at Berkeley Rep and subsequently at Actors Theatre of Louisville; a musical version of Sarah Ruhl's Melancholy Play with 13P; music and lyrics for We Have Always Lived In The Castle (adapted from the Shirley Jackson novel) with Adam Bock at Yale Repertory Theatre; On The Levee with Marcus Gardley and Lear deBessonet at LCT3; and his own musical adaptation of The Odyssey at The Old Globe under Lear deBessonet's direction. He was the music director/arranger for Laura Benanti's acclaimed solo show at 54 Below (NYC); and for Sherie Rene Scott's lauded Piece of Meat also at 54 Below, and at the Hippodrome (London).
Playwrights Horizons is dedicated to cultivating the most important American Playwrights, composers and lyricists, as well as developing and producing their bold new plays and musicals. Under Artistic Director Tim Sanford and Managing Director Leslie Marcus, Playwrights builds upon its diverse and renowned body of work, counting 400 writers among its artistic roster. In addition to its onstage work each season, Playwrights' singular commitment to nurturing American theater artists guides all of the institution's multifaceted initiatives: our acclaimed New Works Lab, a robust commissioning program, an innovative curriculum at its Theater School and more. Playwrights has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including six Pulitzer Prizes, 13 Tony Awards and 39 Obie Awards. Prior artistic directors include André Bishop and Don Scardino. Robert Moss founded Playwrights Horizons in 1971 and oversaw its first decade, cementing the mission that continues to guide the institution today.
Notable productions include six Pulitzer Prize winners - Annie Baker's The Flick (2013 Obie Award, 2013 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize), Bruce Norris's Clybourne Park (2012 Tony Award, Best Play), Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife (2004 Tony Award, Best Play), Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles (1989 Tony Award, Best Play), Alfred Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy and Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park with George - as well as Ms. Baker's Circle Mirror Transformation (three 2010 Obie Awards including Best New American Play); Lisa D'Amour's Detroit (2013 Obie Award, Best New American Play); Samuel D. Hunter's The Whale (2013 Lortel Award, Best Play); Kirsten Greenidge's Milk Like Sugar (2012 Obie Award); JorDan Harrison's Marjorie Prime (2015 Pulitzer finalist); Lucas Hnath's The Christians (2016 Obie Award, 2016 Outer Critics Circle Award, 2015 Kesselring Prize); Robert O'Hara's Bootycandy (two 2015 Obie Awards); Adam Bock's A Life and A Small Fire; Taylor Mac's Hir; Danai Gurira's Familiar; Anne Washburn's Mr. Burns, a post-electric play; Sarah Ruhl's Stage Kiss and Dead Man's Cell Phone; Gina Gionfriddo's Rapture, Blister, Burn; Dan LeFranc's The Big Meal; Amy Herzog's The Great God Pan and After the Revolution; Bathsheba Doran's Kin; Edward Albee's Me, Myself & I; Melissa James Gibson's This (2010 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist); Doug Wright, Scott Frankel and Michael Korie's Grey Gardens (three 2007 Tony Awards); Craig Lucas's Prayer For My Enemy and Small Tragedy (2004 Obie Award, Best American Play); Adam Rapp's Kindness; Lynn Nottage's Fabulation (2005 Obie Award for Playwriting); Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero; David Greenspan's She Stoops to Comedy (2003 Obie Award); Kirsten Childs's The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (2000 Obie Award); Richard Nelson and Shaun Davey's James Joyce's The Dead (2000 Tony Award, Best Book); Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins; William Finn's March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland; Christopher Durang's Betty's Summer Vacation and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You; Richard Nelson's Goodnight Children Everywhere; Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's Once on This Island; Jon Robin Baitz's The Substance of Fire; Scott McPherson's Marvin's Room; A.R. Gurney's Later Life; Adam Guettel and Tina Landau's Floyd Collins; and Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley's Violet.