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Village Theatre Hosts West Coast Premiere of 'Saint Heaven'

Village Theatre opens the 2008-2009 Season with the West Coast Premiere of the new American musical, Saint Heaven.

Simmering gospel, soaring ballads, and earthy country music give life to this passionate tale of courage, faith, and coming home. Saint Heaven, Kentucky, 1957: Young doctor Thom Rivers returns to his hometown for his father's funeral, intending only to settle affairs and move on. But when he's faced with the friends and family he left behind, and he falls for a charismatic young woman with a special spiritual gift, he's forced to choose between his new life and the old home town that needs him.

Saint Heaven was written by New York-based songwriter Keith Gordon; writer of the forthcoming musical Little Mary, the stage musical version of the film How To Marry a Millionaire, with songs recorded by the likes of Bayje, The Valli Girls, Jojo David, and Anne Marie David. Along with his creative partner, librettist Martin Casella, winner of the NYCFringe Outstanding Playwriting Award and nominee for Outstanding New Writing at the Dublin Festival for his book of The Irish Curse, Gordon will be in Issaquah working with Village Theatre to further develop the new musical, Saint Heaven.

Andrea J. Dymond, Resident Director at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, directs Village Theatre’s production. Dymond has worked in new play development for more than twenty years, and some of her recent directing credits include the world premiere productions of Nicholas A. Patricca’s The Defiant Muse and Jeffery Sweet’s Court Martial at Fort Devens.

Dymond comments, “I was first privileged to work on Saint Heaven, early in its development, when I directed a workshop production as part of a festival of new musicals, in Chicago. That was six summers ago and the significance of that moment still resonates for me. Though I’d been developing new plays for years, this was the first new musical on which I ever worked. It became the touchstone experience that would engender my enthusiasm for musicals as new work.”

As a highlight of the Seventh Annual Festival of New Musicals in 2007, Saint Heaven won raves from Village Originals audiences. “The turns, surprises, compelling story, and great songs make this [musical] a keeper. It is so rich. I’d come see it again and again!” enthused one Festival audience member. An earlier version of Saint Heaven was presented in June of 2006 at the SCA Forum in Stamford, CT. Since its original conception, this musical has been presented at The New York Musical Theatre Festival where it won the NMTN Director’s Choice Award. Theater Resources Unlimited’s 6th Annual TRU Voices Reading Series called it “Best of Festival.” Saint Heaven has also been presented in The York Theatre's 2004 reading series and at Theatre Building Chicago's Stages 2003 Festival of New Musicals. Now in its final stages of development, Saint Heaven can be seen as a full production at Village Theatre where it will run for a total of ten weeks in two locations.

Village Theatre’s production of Saint Heaven is directed by Andrea J. Dymond; scenic and lighting design by Tom Sturge; and costume design by Cynthia Savage.

The show will play the followinng schedule:

Issaquah Dates: September 17–October 26, 2008 – ON SALE NOW
Wednesdays through Saturdays: 8:00 PM

Sundays and selected Saturdays: 2:00 PM

Selected Tuesdays: 7:30 PM

Selected Sundays: 7:00 PM

                                              

Everett Dates: October 31–November 23, 2008 – ON SALE: 9/24/08

Wednesdays through Saturdays: 8:00 PM

Saturdays and Sundays: 2:00 PM

Selected Sundays: 7:00 PM

 

About Village Theatre

Based in Issaquah, WA, with operations in Everett, Village Theatre is a leading producer of musical theatre in the Pacific Northwest. Producing entertaining quality productions for the entire family since 1979, Village Theatre has grown into one of the region's best-attended Equity theatres, with over 18,000 subscribers and 170,000 projected total attendance each season. Through its Village Originals program, Village Theatre is nationally recognized for its contribution to the development of new musicals, having launched over 80 new works to date. Village Theatre also takes pride in nurturing tomorrow’s audiences through its youth education programs, Pied Piper and KIDSTAGE, serving over 53,000 young people, families, and schools annually.

Village Theatre season sponsors are The Boeing Company, Continental Airlines, Microsoft and Lombardi’s

Village Theatre is also funded in part by 4Culture, ABODA, ArtsFund, ArtsUnited, Cascade Bank, City of Everett, City of Issaquah /Issaquah Arts Commission, Encore Arts Program, Frontier Bank, Journal Newspapers, National Endowment for the Arts, Overlake Hospital and Medical Center, PONCHO, Port Blakely Communities/Issaquah Highlands, Standing Ovation, and Washington State Arts Commission. Village Theatre is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre and Theatre Puget Sound.


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