Village Theatre Will Kick Off the Next Series of Beta Productions with XY, a New Musical
Village Theatre kicks off the next series of Beta Productions with XY, a new musical written by Oliver Houser and developed and directed by Hunter Bird that runs at Village Theatre's First Stage Theatre in Issaquah from February 14 - 23, 2020. The production marks the beginning of an exciting collaboration between Village Theatre and Seattle Rep, who will continue development of the show in a future season.
A truly unique partnership between two regional theatre powerhouses, the collaboration between Village Theatre and Seattle Rep came after both organizations witnessed an early reading at The National Alliance for Musical Theatre Festival of New Musicals in October of 2018. With the support of commercial producers Marleen and Kenny Alhadeff (Come From Away and Memphis), XY continues its developmental journey through both Village Theatre and Seattle Rep, which will eventually lead to a world premiere production. "After both theatres expressed interest in the show," said Village Theatre Associate Artistic Director Brandon Ivie, "it made sense to work together and capitalize on the strengths that each organization has. Developing musicals is a difficult and long process. It's wonderful to partner with Seattle Rep as we bring this show to life."
After a successful reading at The 2019 Village Theatre Festival of New Musicals, the upcoming developmental Beta Production of XY will allow the creative team to test the show in front of savvy theatregoers using simple sets and costumes. After each performance, audiences are invited to ask questions and share feedback, which can result in changes between each performance. "So much of this show has been conceived statically," said writer Oliver Houser. "There's only so much we can do at readings and behind music stands. This developmental production will allow us to discover how the show moves with our actors onstage, and also how it moves with an audience. It's a thrilling opportunity." Once the Beta Production closes, Seattle Rep will continue to develop the show in a future season.
The cast for the Beta Production includes New York-based actor and comedian Peter Smith (Shrill on Hulu, Diana at Ars Nova), and Seattle favorites Beth DeVries (Les Misérables), Sara Porkalob (Gregory Award-winning creator of The Dragon Cycle), Justin Huertas (Gregory Award-winning creator of Lizard Boy), and youth actors Tristan Hagen (Matilda) and Mikayla Sanchez (Matilda and The Passage). Joining writer Oliver Houser and director and developer Hunter Bird on the creative team are co-music directors Michael Nutting and Julia Thornton, and gender consultant Josephine Kearns.
Village Theatre has announced that funding for all 2020 Beta Productions, including XY, has been approved for an Art Works grant via the National Endowment for the Arts. The Art Works funding category supports projects that focus on public engagement with, and access to, various forms of excellent art across the nation; the creation of art that meets the highest standard of excellence; learning in the arts at all stages of life; and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life. "The arts are at the heart of our communities, connecting people through shared experiences and artistic expression," said Arts Endowment chairman Mary Anne Carter. "The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support projects like the Beta Production XY."
An uplifting musical about identity and coming to terms with your past, XY will run at First Stage Theatre in Issaquah February 14-23, 2020. Tickets are $30 ($25 for youth and senior), and additional discounts are available for Village Originals Members. For more information visit www.VillageOriginals.org.