The Band’s Visit, written by David Yazbek and Itamar Moses (Fest ’12, Nobody Loves You), will receive its world premiere at Atlantic Theater this Fall, supported in part by a Production Grant from the National Fund for New Musicals. We reached out to Annie MacRae, the Atlantic’s Associate Artistic Director, and Itamar to learn more about the show’s history and this upcoming production.
What is Atlantic’s history with new musical development? How does this tie into the theatre’s overall mission?
Annie MacRae: It is Atlantic’s mission to produce great plays simply and truthfully by utilizing an artistic ensemble. Over our 30-year history, commitment to this mission has led to some exciting new plays from Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Between Riverside and Crazy to Dominique Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew. At the same time, we’ve been working to build upon past world premieres like Patty Griffin’s 10 Million Miles and the iconic Spring Awakening to become a home for musical theater in NYC. In the past three years, we’ve developed and produced great projects like Martha Clarke’s reimagining of The Threepenny Opera and premieres of Found by Eli Bolin, Hunter Bell, and Lee Overtree and These Paper Bullets! by Billie Joe Armstrong and Rolin Jones. We’ve also produced several one and two-week workshops of musicals to help develop thrilling projects from the ground up.
What was the first inspiration for The Band’s Visit?
Itamar Moses: The project originated with our producer Orin Wolf, who acquired the stage rights to the film from Eran Kolerin, the filmmaker. He asked me to take a look at the film — which I’d heard of but never seen — and of course I loved it, because it’s great, and I immediately saw why Orin thought it might make a good stage musical. So then David Yazbek, who also saw the potential, and I were hired to do the adaptation.