Monday, April 8, 2013

O'Neill Announces Three Musicals to be Developed at Summer Conference

The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center announced today three musicals to be developed at the 2013 National Music Theater Conference:

Broadcast
Book and Lyrics by Nathan Christensen
Music by Scott Murphy
Performances: June 22, 8pm; June 23, 3pm; June 26, 8pm; June 28, 7pm

Synopsis: Does our constantly evolving technology really help us to connect with each other, or is it keeping us at a distance? That is the question of the original wireless era a hundred years ago—at the dawn of radio. Broadcast weaves together the lives of inventors, housewives, soldiers, salesmen,and the people next door, all trying to be heard over the invisible waves of that brand new world.

The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes
Book and lyrics by Christopher Dimond
Music by Michael Kooman
Performances: June 29, 8pm; June 30, 3pm; July 3, 8pm; July 5, 7pm
Synopsis: Howard Barnes is a perfectly average man in his early thirties, until the day that he wakes up to discover that his life has become a musical. Desperate to escape from the show, Howard embarks on a fantastical quest through the realm of musical theater. Equal parts satire, romantic comedy, and love letter to the American musical, The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes is intended for people who love musical theater, and their spouses who hate it.

Goddess
Book, Lyrics, and Music by Mkhululi Mabija and Michael Thurber
Performances: July 6, 8pm; July 7, 3pm; July 10, 8pm, July 12, 7pm.

Synopsis: Goddess is set in a fictional city in present day Africa where Nadira, a beautiful, sultry singer, performs nightly in a jazz club. The story revolves around Nadira and the fate of the men who love her. An original musical with pulsing, modern African rhythms, Goddess is a story of love, destiny and the place of the supernatural in the modern world.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Paulette Haupt, each work will undergo the O’Neill’s signature development process, employing acclaimed professional actors, directors, and music directors in an intensive series of rehearsals, discussions, and several public readings.

“It was an unusually difficult challenge this year to decide on our final selections for the 2013 National Music Theater Conference,” says Haupt. “Among the 176 submissions we received, there was an abundance of extremely gifted writers and composers and promising works. The three projects we selected were outstanding among them, and all are at the point where the development process will be very useful to the creators.”

Since its founding in 1978, the National Music Theater Conference has developed nearly 115 new musicals, including early works of award-winning writers and composers such as Kirsten Childs, Tan Dun, Andrew Lippa, Duncan Sheik, Steven Sater, Paul Oakley Stovall, and Jeannine Tesori. Many have received productions and acclaim worldwide.

The National Music Theater Conference runs from June 18 through July 12 on the O’Neill’s campus in Waterford, Connecticut. Box Office (860-443-1238) and online ticket sales begin Wednesday, June 5; advance ticket sales are available to O’Neill Members beginning Monday, May 13. Schedules are subject to change.

For further information, call the O’Neill at 860-443-5378, email theaterlives@theoneill.org, or visit www.theoneill.org.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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