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People's Light to Present THE ROAD: MY LIFE WITH JOHN DENVER

Sing along with the greatest hits of a legendary folk musician in the regional premiere of The Road: My Life with John Denver, an intimate, insider's portrait of life on tour.

Perennial favorite David Lutken (Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash and Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie) joins other multi-talented performers to tell the tale of a professional musician whose personal highs and lows mirror those of Denver. Catch a rare glimpse of the man who created "Take Me Home, Country Roads," "Rocky Mountain High," and "Leaving on a Jet Plane" through the funny, poignant stories told by a fellow performer who toured the country with him.

The Road runs on the Steinbright Stage from December 3, 2016 to January 15, 2017. People's Light is located at 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, PA 19355. For tickets, call 610.644.3500 or visit

Dan Wheetman, co-author and musical arranger of The Road: My Life with John Denver, not only lived near the singer in Aspen, Colorado, but played in his band for eight years. Wheetman based this melodic and moving play on his observations of the inspirations and aspirations of an artist gone too soon: Denver died in a 1997 plane crash at the age of 53.

Wheetman co-authored the play with long-time collaborator Randal Myler, who directs this production. The two have created original music theatre together since 1985, including Appalachian Strings, Fire on the Mountain: The Music of the Coal Mines, Mama Hated Diesels, and Low Down Dirty Blues. Their work It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues played at Lincoln Center in 1999, and earned Tony Award nominations for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical, as well as a Drama Desk nomination for Best Musical Revue.

Producing Director Zak Berkman saw the sold-out production of The Road: My Life with John Denver at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre last fall. "I was struck by how much fun everyone there had," he says. "They sang along to Denver's hit songs, and leaned in to this intimate, honest story about the challenges of marriage, of creative collaboration, and of growing up."

"Given the recent success at People's Light of Woody Sez, The Devil's Music, and Ring of Fire," says Berkman, "The Road felt like the perfect next musical experience to, well, fill up our senses."

The cast features frequent guest artist David M. Lutken (Woody Sez, Ring of Fire), who plays "Dan" until December 18 and also serves as Music Director. After that date, returning guest Sam Sherwood (Ring of Fire) assumes the role of "Dan". Singer-actor Katie Deal joins them as "Penny" in her People's Light debut.

Co-author Randal Myler comes to People's Light for the first time to direct the production. Resident Director of Design James F. Pyne, Jr., creates the set. Returning guest artist Lily Fossner (Arthur and the Tale of the Red Dragon, Row after Row) designs lights, while Jason Pizzi (Richard III) stage manages.

The Road: My Life with John Denver runs approximately 2 hours including a 15-minute intermission, and would be best enjoyed by ages 12 and up.

Whoop It Up at the Hootenanny on Thursday, December 15. People's Light invites all local musicians to join the cast of The Road for a hootenanny directly after the performance. Bring your instrument and jam with the cast! We also invite audiences who attend the 7:30pm performance that night to stay and enjoy this extra musical treat.

Enjoy prix fixe Dinner and A Show packages for $79 (Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday matinee, Sunday evening) and $88 (Friday, Saturday evening, Sunday matinee) at The Farmhouse Bistro. That's a savings of up to 15% off the single ticket price. Call the Box Office at 610.644.3500.

Located next to the Bistro is a full service catering venue, The Farmhouse at People's Light, perfect for weddings, corporate events, and special celebrations. Contact Brad Williams, General Manager & Director of Sales, at 610.647.1631 x156 or email

The Road: My Life with John Denver previews on Saturday, December 3 at 8pm and Sunday, December 4 at 2 & 7pm. The play opens on Tuesday, December 6 and runs through Sunday, January 15.

Standard single tickets start at $41. Community Night tickets are $28 for the performances on December 7, 8, and 9. For tickets, call the Box Office at 610.644.3500. Special discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For more information or to purchase group tickets, call 610.647.1900 x111 or email

Pick packages are available for the 2016-2017 season and start at $99. Productions include The Road: My Life with John Denver (December 3, 2016-January 15, 2017), Loudon Wainwright III's Surviving Twin (January 21-February 5, 2017), The Matchmaker (February 15-March 12, 2017), I and You (March 29- April 23, 2017), The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (April 29-June 4, 2017), Project Dawn (June 7- July 9, 2017), and Moon Over Buffalo (July 19-August 13, 2017). Visit or call 610-644- 3500 to order.

Actors, prices, productions, performance dates and times are subject to change. Additional service charges will apply. Contact the Box Office for more details.

Now in its 42nd season, People's Light, a professional, not-for-profit theatre in Chester County, Pennsylvania, makes plays drawn from many sources to entertain, inspire, and engage our community. We extend our mission of making and experiencing theatre through arts education programs that excite curiosity about, and deepen understanding of, the world around us. These plays and programs bring people together and provide opportunities for reflection, discovery, and celebration. Founded in 1974, we produce eight to nine plays each season, in two black box theatres with 340 and 160 seats respectively, mixing world premieres, contemporary plays, and fresh approaches to classic texts for our 7-Play, Spark, and Teen Series.


Randal Myler Director/Co-Author
People's Light debut. Randal Myler received a Tony Award nomination (Best Book of a Musical) for It Ain't Nothin' But The Blues (which also received three other Tony nominations including Best Musical). His acclaimed bio-musical Hank Williams: Lost Highway ran for two years at the Grand Ole Opry's Ryman Auditorium and off-Broadway (Drama Desk nomination, Outer Critics Circle Best Director nomination). His musical Love, Janis ran for over 750 performances off-Broadway at the former Village Gate and his numerous productions in Chicago have received over fifteen Jeff Awards and nominations. Some of his many directorial credits include Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Mark Taper Forum, Cleveland Play House, Geffen Playhouse, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, Alley Theatre, BAM, Denver Center, Cincinnati Playhouse, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, The Old Globe, Arizona Theatre Company, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, among others. His plays and musicals have been published by Samuel French, Dramatist Play Service and the Dramatic Publishing Company

Dan Wheetman Arranger/Co-Author
People's Light debut. Theatre Includes: First professional theater gig was the Denver Center Theatre tour of Quilters in 1985. He has appeared in productions all over the US as an actor and musician. He's written several musicals with Randal Myler, including It Ain't Nothin' But The Blues, Appalachian Strings, Fire On The Mountain, Mama Hated Diesels, and Low Down Dirty Blues. He has garnered several LA Critics' Circle awards for Musical Direction and a Tony nomination as a writer for It Ain't Nothin' But The Blues at the Lincoln Center in New York. Along with his theater work Dan toured for eight years in John Denver's band, has recorded several solo albums and plays in a very eclectic band, Marley's Ghost.

Katie Deal Penny
People's Light debut. Theatre Includes: Favorite regional credits: Smokey Joe's Café (Playhouse on the Square), 9 to 5: The Musical (Springer Opera House), The Spitfire Grill (Wayside Theater), Man of La Mancha (Off Square Theatre), Keep on the Sunny Side (Barter Theatre), and two national tours of A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline. Regularly performs in touring concerts honoring the greats: I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues: A Salute to Ella, Judy & Patsy; Katie Deal in Today, Tomorrow & Forever: A Tribute to Patsy Cline; Classic Nashville Roadshow with Jason Petty; and her latest, Wildflowers: The Women of Country Music. Frequently performs as a guest vocalist with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra and has recently been featured in two major motion films. Born and raised in rural northeast Georgia, Katie is best known for her authentic country sound and is proud to be a recent inductee of the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame, Hall of Honor. Website:

David M. Lutken Dan (until 12/18/16)/Music Director
People's Light: Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash (2016) and Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie (2014). Theatre Includes: Broadway: Inherit the Wind ('07); Ring of Fire; The Civil War; The Will Rogers Follies. Off Broadway: Southern Comfort; Stars in Your Eyes; Winter Man; The Portable Pioneer and Prairie Show. N.Y. City Opera: Paul Bunyan. Regional: Man of La Mancha; Big River; Elmer Gantry; Finian's Rainbow; Pump Boys and Dinettes; Stand By Your Man; The Love List; The Man Who Came to Dinner; A Murder, A Mystery and A Marriage; On Golden Pond; In The Deep Heart's Core. Performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the 92nd St. Y, the West End of London, across Great Britain, Europe, the Middle East, China, the Louisiana Hayride, and the Ryman auditorium. For his performance in Woody Sez: the Life and Music of Woody Guthrie, Mr. Lutken received both the Helen Hayes and the Joseph Jefferson awards for Best Actor.

Sam Sherwood Dan (from 12/19/16)
People's Light: Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash (2016). Theatre Includes: Ring of Fire (Arrow Rock Lyceum, Adirondack Theater Festival, Arts Garage, Alhambra Theater and others); The Road: My Life With John Denver and Stand By Your Man (Ivoryton Playhouse); A Funny Thing Happened...Forum, Pump Boys & Dinettes and Hank Williams: Lost Highway (Flat Rock Playhouse); Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (NC Theatre, Theater By The Sea); Cotton Patch Gospel (Mountain Playhouse, Flat Rock); Titanic (National Tour); The Music Man (National Tour); Pump Boys & Dinettes (Alhambra); Dream A Little Dream (Phoenix Theatre). New York concert credits include Carnegie Hall, 54 Below, and Symphony Space. Website:

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