FOLK WANDERING | NORMATIVITY | THE REAL WHISPER | THE BEST SONGS IN THE WORLD SHOW | KEYNOTE SPEAKER | MARATHON DAY
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
(March 28 & 31 at 8 p.m.; April 1 at 12 p.m.; Merriam Theater)
Conceived by Jaclyn Backhaus and Andrew Neisler
Book and Lyrics by Jaclyn Backhaus
Music and Additional Lyrics by Blake Allen, Mike Brun, Andrew R. Butler, Joel Esher, Alex Fast, Jo Lampert, and Annie Tippe
Arrangements by Mike Brun and Joel Esher
Orchestrations by Mike Brun
Additional Orchestrations by Blake Allen
Directed by Andrew Neisler
Description: Tales from tenement Manhattan, Depression-era Utah, and rural 1950s Indiana are woven together in this new folk musical. With a book by critically acclaimed playwright Jaclyn Backhaus and a score developed by a group of New York’s emerging singer/songwriters, Folk Wandering is an American celebration of the untold grief that moves us forward.
(March 28 & 31 at 8 p.m.; April 1 at 9 p.m.; Arts Bank)
Book, Music and Lyrics by Jaime Jarrett
Director: Rebecca Wright
Music Directors: Jaime Jarrett and Ellen Winter
Description: Taylor is sick of the stereotypical portrayal of queer characters in the media. When she meets Emily, a lesbian book character who has come to life, together they fight to rewrite her story and redefine “normal.” Through an exhilarating pop rock score and radical queerness, Normativity explores love, identity, and what it means to be out right now.
The Real Whisper
(March 29 & 30 at 8 p.m.; April 1 at 6 p.m.; Merriam Theater)
Music and Lyrics by Greta Gertler Gold
Book and Lyrics by Akin Salawu
Director: Nell Bang-Jensen
Music Director: Amanda Morton
Choreographer: Amy Smith
Description: When Whisper, a teen runaway, breaks into a haunted Massachusetts Manor that hosts ghost tours, she finds herself entangled in a hidden killer’s murderous rampage. As the body count rises with the Manor’s supernatural thirst for blood, Whisper realizes she must team up with the 100-year-old ghost of a Black American slave if she is ever going to make it out alive.
The Best Songs in the World Show
A New Musical by Red 40 & The Last Groovement
(March 29 & 30 at 8 p.m.; April 1 at 3 p.m.; Arts Bank)
Music, Book and Lyrics: Martha Stuckey in collaboration with The Last Groovement
Director: Anisa George
Music Director: Martha Stuckey
Choreographer: Melanie Cotton
The Last Groovement includes Martha Stuckey, Jess Conda, Caitlin Antram, Alice Yorke, Ben Diamond, Matteo Scammell, Jon Colvson, Ben Grinberg, Devin Coleman and a cast of University of the Arts students
Description: After her band is kidnapped and conscripted to Proxis’ polka-playing army, Red 40 ventures out with her team of femme fatales and the audience to retrieve the abducted. In this world of googly-eyed soldiers and idiot spies, characters wear multiple identities in an effort to access each other and our own inner starstuff.
POLYPHONE spot on Newsworks: Take a listen!
On Saturday, April 1, Shakina Nayfack, actor, writer and artistic director of the Musical Theater Factory in New York, will deliver the Polyphone keynote address on the topics of community, identity and activism in musical theater at 10 a.m. at the Arts Bank. April 1 will also feature a marathon day in which audiences can view all four works beginning at 12 p.m.
Marathon Day on Saturday, April 1
(12 p.m. – 11 p.m. at the Merriam Theater and Arts Bank)
Four new works in succession: Folk Wandering, The Best Songs in the World Show, The Real Whisper, Normativity
*Musicals are currently in development and are not open for critical review at this time.