Julia and I are happy to be back with the Musical Theatre Factory for a second year of their writers group. After a successful year last year finishing our first draft of REB+VoDKa+ME (which we can’t wait to share at NYU in November, see below!) we’re excited to devote this year to getting a full draft of The Magnificent Seven written! Our group includes writer friends old and new, run by the wonderful folks at Beehive Dramaturgy Studio. We can’t wait to journey back to 1996 Atlanta!
About 5 years after writing our first song for it, Julia and I are finally going to get to work on Choreomania!
We’re joining the inaugural class of The Collective, a new program in the 92nd Street Y’s Harkness Dance Center Music Theatre Development Lab. The Collective brings together performance makers from across the spectrum – writers, composers, directors, choreographers, and hyphenates of the above – to explore new works of music theatre and dance. After spending so many years primarily behind music stands, we’re thrilled to get to begin to imagine a work in an environment that encourages us to consider movement as an integral part of the storytelling process. It’ll challenge us in the most exciting way!
Choreomania will explore the Dancing Plague of 1518, in which hundreds of people spent the summer dancing uncontrollably and inexplicably in the streets of France. The event is now understood to be the earliest recorded instance of mass hysteria (thanks to the invention of the printing press.) It’s about the search of explanations to the unexplainable, the fear and allure of the unknown, and the power of a crowd.
Give our first song, “I’m Moving” – sung by Frau Troffea, the dancing plague’s originator – a listen while we get ready to dive into the 16th century!
After finishing a draft of the show at the Yale Institute for Music Theatre this summer, REB+VoDKa+ME will get up on its feet for the first time this fall! The Tisch New Musical Theatre Workshop, a collaboration between NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program and New Studio on Broadway, will present a workshop production of the show for four performances, November 17-19.
Julia and I are excited to be once again working with director Benjamin Kamine and music director Rich Silverstein on the project. And special thanks to GMTWP’s Sarah Schlesinger and NSB’s Kent Gash for the opportunity to work with students to bring the show to life!
Check back here for casting (after next week’s auditions) and ticket info in the coming weeks…
Julia and I got back this morning from seeing Pregnancy Pact in Windsor, Ontario, produced by The Edge Productions at The Rondo. It was such a moving experience on so many levels – so amazing to see the show again (it’s been 3 years since 54 Below…), so wonderful to be flooded with memories of all the remarkable people whose hearts are in every moment of it, and beyond incredible to see strangers (now friends) take our work and bring it to vivid life. It felt like a really defining moment in my journey as a writer, and I’m so grateful!
My immense thanks go to the superstars in this picture for their dedication to our show (clockwise from the top left): Shayla Hudson (Jeanelle), Rebecca Lashmar (Jenn), Avonlea Smith (Kaylee), Samantha Bourque (Maddie), Janine Marley (Assistant Director), Sean Sennett (Cory/Justin), Nathaniel Cedroni (Set Designer), Sam Poole (Music Director), me, Julia, Olivia Ridpath (Sansanee), Miriam Goldstein (Director), Miranda DiPietro (Brynn), and Morgan Corbett-Collins (Stage Manager.)
Videos from the Feinstein’s/54 Below concert are now online! Watch the whole 17 song playlist above (starting with the finale, of course.)
Thanks to all who came up/down/in/over to that midtown basement to share the evening with us. Thanks to Jennifer Ashley Tepper and the whole 54 Below staff for inviting us to kick off this wonderful (and ongoing!) series. And thanks, especially, to our 26 singers, actors, and musicians for bringing so much of our work to life!