San Diego REP Announces The Cast And Creative Team Of FUN HOME
San Diego Repertory Theatre announced the cast lineup for Fun Home, one of the most celebrated musicals in recent Broadway history. Fun Home is the coming-out memoir of Alison Bechdel, an exploration of family, memory, first love and a daughter's relationship with her father. Fun Home was nominated for 12 Tony Awards in 2015 winning five including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Leading Actor and Actress in a Musical. Fun Home was also winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical and the Obie Award for Musical Theatre.
Fun Home is based on Alison Bechdel's witty and wistful graphic novel of the same name. Past and present blend magically as we see Alison at three different ages: as a young girl playing games in the family's funeral home, as a college student joyously discovering her sexuality as a lesbian woman and now as an adult on an extraordinary quest to discover the truth about her father's secret life.
"I am in awe of the work from three incredible female artists that led to the musical Fun Home," states the show's director, Sam Woodhouse, who is also the artistic director of San Diego Repertory Theatre. "Alison Bechdel won the MacArthur Genius Award after the publication of her novel. Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori were the first female team in history to win the Tony Award for Best Musical and Best Score. The music of Fun Home seduces you from the first phrase and does not let you go until the final chord."
Fun Home, aching with memories, centers on two fascinating people: the lesbian pioneer graphic novelist and activist Alison (yes, this is an autobiography of sorts) and her mercurial and unpredictable father Bruce who teaches English, runs a funeral home and loves antiques in ways he cannot love his children.
In the Detroit Free Press, Fun Home lyricist and book writer Lisa Kron was quoted saying, "Fun Home was easy in some ways to adapt because she and Bechdel have plenty in common." Both she and Bechdel are gay and in their mid-50s, and both came of age in small colleges. Kron continued, "I was at Kalamazoo College at the same time she (Alison) was at Oberlin. Writing those dorm room scenes, I was pictured in my own dorm in Kalamazoo. When she was going to the gay union, I was picturing the women's interest group, which was our version at Kalamazoo. So I felt like I knew that world pretty well."
Jeanine Tesori's score for Fun Home is a magically hypnotic composition telling the story through melodically rich songs that summon both heartache and joy. In 2015, Tesori gave an interview to the online publication, The Interval. When asked about her relationship with music: Is it the color thing? Is it emotional? She responded, "It's everything. My music library goes from Stravinsky to The Pretenders to The Talking Heads. I don't have cast albums. I love making them, but I never listen to them. I have a lot of world music-I produced a lot of world music when I was in my twenties and I worked in Nashville. So it's really, really eclectic. I think I react emotionally. I have perfect pitch so I see a lot of things in colors. I also feel like music is oceanic-there's no end to what you can discover. And I really like getting to know a culture by how they sound; where their history is and why it's like that. All of that stuff really fascinates me."
The cast of Fun Home is led by Amanda Naughton (Alison), Claire Adams (Medium Alison), Taylor Coleman (Small Alison), Isabella Pruter (Small Alison), Jim Stanek (Bruce), Bets Malone (Helen), Alexis Young (Joan), Conlan Ledwith (Roy, Pete, Mark, Bobby Jeremy), Bobby Chiu (John), Jacob Farry (John), Hayden Crocker (Christian), and Luke Renner (Christan).
The creative team includes Robert Meffe (Music Director), Javier Velasco (Choreographer), Nicole Cantalupo (Assistant Director and Dramaturg), Sean Fanning (Set Design), Jennifer Brawn Gittings (Costume Design), Matthew Lescault-Wood (Sound Design), David Lee Cuthbert (Lighting and Projection Design), Angelica Ynfante (Prop Design), John Anderson (Technical Director), Chelsea Smith (Production Manager), and Chandra R.M. Anthenill (Stage Manager).
Lisa Kron (Book and Lyrics): 2015 Tony Award winner for Best Book of a Musical and Best Score of a Musical for Fun Home. Other plays include In the Wake, Well, and the Obie Award-winning 2.5 Minute Ride. Acting credits include Well (Tony Nomination - Best Actress) and Good Person of Szechwan (Lortel Award-Outstanding Featured Actress). She has received Guggenheim, Sundance, and MacDowell fellowships, Doris Duke Performing Artist, Cal Arts/Alpert, and Helen Merrill Awards, and grants from the Creative Capital and NYFA. Lisa is a founding member of the Obie and Bessie Award-winning theatre company The Five Lesbian Brothers and serves on the boards of the MacDowell Colony, The Sundance Institute, and on the Council of the Dramatists Guild of America.
Jeanine Tesori (Music): For Broadway: Fun Home (2015 Tony Award Winner), Violet, Caroline or Change, Shrek the Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Twelfth Night (LCT), John Guare's A Free Man of Color. Delacorte: Mother Courage (starring Meryl Streep). Opera: A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck (libretto, Tony Kushner; Glimmerglass); The Lion, the Unicorn and Me (Libretto, J.D. McClatchy; Washington National Opera). Her songs are featured in the Netflix revival of Gilmore Girls. She is the artistic director/co-founder of A Broader Way, an arts empowerment program for girls from underserved communities, the founding artistic director of Encores! Off Center, and a lecturer in music at Yale University and Columbia University. Ms. Tesori is a member of the Dramatists Guild.
Alison Bechdel (Author of Graphic Novel): Alison created the comic strip "Dykes to Watch Out For," which ran in lesbian and gay publications from 1983 to 2008. In 2006 she gained a wider readership with the publication of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, a graphic memoir about her relationship with her closeted gay father. She followed this with a second memoir, Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama. She's currently working on a book about the body and trends in physical fitness called The Secret to Superhuman Strength. She is the recipient of a 2014 MacArthur Fellowship.
Performances Fun Home run September 6 - 30, 2018, at the Lyceum Theatre in downtown San Diego. Press opening is on Wednesday, September 12th at 7 PM. For performance times and show information please visit www.sdrep.org.
About San Diego Repertory Theatre
San Diego Repertory Theatre (San Diego REP) produces intimate, exotic, provocative theatre. Founded in 1976, San Diego Repertory Theatre is downtown San Diego's resident theatre, promoting a more inclusive community through work that nourishes progressive political and social values and celebrates the multiple voices of our region. The company produces and hosts over 550 events and performances year-round on its three stages at the Lyceum Theatre. Since moving to the Lyceum, The REP has produced 45 main stage productions by Latino playwrights, and more than 40 world premieres. The company has received more than 200 awards for artistic excellence from the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle, Patté Theatre Awards, NAACP, Backstage West, Dramalogue and StageSceneLA. In 2005, the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle presented The REP with the Craig Noel Award "For 30 Years of Artistic Dedication to Downtown and Diversity." San Diego Repertory Theatre feeds the curious soul. To learn more about San Diego Repertory Theatre, to purchase tickets, or make a donation, visit www.sdrep.org. Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@SanDiegoREP).