New Work in Progress: Broadway Bounty Hunter

This month, we chatted with Branden Huldeen, the Artistic Associate & Director of New Play Development at Barrington Stage Company, about their upcoming production of Broadway Bounty Hunter, by Joe Iconis (Fest ’11-Bloodsong of Love), Lance Rubin and Jason “SweetTooth” Williams. This production has received a Production Grant from NAMT’s National Fund for New Musicals.

How did Broadway Bounty Hunter first make its way to Barrington Stage Co.?
Julie Boyd (our Artistic Director) and Megan Nussle (Literary Associate) saw a reading produced by Rhinebeck Writers Retreat last year and fell in love with the show.  Joe has a long relationship with BSC and they knew that this show would be a great addition to our season.

What is BSC’s relationship to nurturing new works and upcoming writing teams in general?
BSC develops both new plays and new musicals (but this being NAMT, let’s focus on the latter).  Our Musical Theatre Lab was founded 11 years ago and is headed up by Bill Finn and Julie.  One of the great things about our New Works Initiative is that is it not bound by expectations or specific programs.  We do at least one new musical and one new play a year, but we aren’t forced in to do “x” number of readings, “y” number of workshops.  We look for writers or works that we love and feel like are a great fit for our theatre, then we figure out how we can help them.  For example, Presto Change-o, which kicked off our season, was a commissioned musical.  We did two readings, realized that they would need a workshop to sort out the illusions, and then produced the world premiere.  We have the flexibility in our programming to really let the needs of the project lead the process, not quotas.  If we find two musicals we want to produce, a musical we want to workshop and another we want to do a reading of…that is what we will do (if we can make it work within our budget, of course).

How does this show and production fit into BSC’s larger mission? 
New works is a large part of BSC’s mission “to develop new plays and musicals” and that work has been part of the core of this company from early in its founding.  This show fits into our larger mission because it rounds out a really exciting, engaging and challenging season. We have a unique audience here in the Berkshires with a mix of locals, seasonals and tourists.  We don’t ever want to leave any of those groups out. Nina Raine’s Tribes is on our mainstage opposite Broadway Bounty Hunter on our second stage, so this fun, funny and funky musical is the perfect way to close out the main part of our season!

What part of the show are you most excited to share with the BSC audiences?
There are so many parts I can’t wait for our patrons to see: Annie Golden singing “Spin Those Records” (what I consider Joe’s best song, so far…seriously!); Jeffrey Page’s choreography is unlike anything seen on stage before (or at least not our stage); the epic, location-spanning fight sequence at the end of the musical… and many more.

Why should everyone make their way to the Berkshires to check out the show?
Because it is beautiful up here and we are gracious hosts…but more importantly: Annie Golden vs. Jeff McCarthy (as a South American drug lord)—a throwdown in a brothel.  Where else will you get to see something as amazing as that?


For more information on Broadway Bounty Hunter, visit BSC’s website.

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