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Festival Show Update: Fall Springs

This month, we chatted with Peter Sinn Nachtrieb and Niko Tsakalakos, the writers of 2017 Festival show Fall Springs. This summer, the show will receive its world premiere at NAMT member Barrington Stage Company, which received a production grant from our Frank Young Fund for New Musicals.
The town of Fall Springs is cash-strapped but sits directly on top of America’s largest reserve of cosmetic essential oils. The town has big dreams but at what cost? With new fracking techniques being recklessly implemented, the ground beneath Fall Springs is crumbling.

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Festival Show Update: Darling Grenadine

This month, we chatted with Daniel Zaitchik, the writer of 2017 Festival show Darling Grenadine. This summer, there will be a production of Darling Grenadine at The Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, IL, and a New York production at Roundabout Theatre’s Underground is scheduled for this winter. Below, we talk to Daniel about the upcoming productions and the work that’s happened on the show since we spoke to him last.
Harry is a charming songwriter whose fanciful view of the world rivals the Technicolor of any MGM classic. But as Harry floats through the kind of Manhattan life that dreams are made of, he suddenly finds himself confronted with the idea that a dream may be exactly what it is. And reality isn’t nearly as beautiful.

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Festival Show Update: We Live in Cairo

We also chatted with Patrick and Daniel Lazour, the writers of 2016 Festival show We Live in Cairo. The musical is about to have its world premiere at the A.R.T. in Boston; the production opens on May 14.
Inspired by the young Egyptians who took to the streets in 2011 to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak, this world premiere musical follows six revolutionary students armed with laptops and cameras, guitars and spray cans as they come of age in contemporary Cairo. Winner of the Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater, We Live in Cairo moves from the jubilation of Tahrir Square through the tumultuous years that followed. As escalating division and violence lead to a military crackdown, the revolutionaries of Tahrir must confront the question of how—or even whether—to keep their dreams of change alive.
 

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Last month, we chatted with Dave Steakley, the producing artistic director at NAMT member ZACH Theatre. ZACH is about to open a production of 2017 Festival show The Ballad of Klook and Vinette, formerly known as Klook’s Last Stand, written by Ché Walker, Anoushka Lucas and Omar Leyfook. Dave told us a little about what to expect from the upcoming production, and why everyone should make their way to Texas and check it out.
Tender, funny and incredibly moving, this contemporary new love story will grab you from the inside out. Klook and Vinette are two lost souls trying to find themselves in one another. Against all odds and with the past at their heels, together they make a tentative stab at happiness. This is a seductive musical about inevitability and the thrill of falling in love. 

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Festival Show Update: Mythic

This month, we caught up with Marcus Stevens and Oran Eldor, the writers of 2017 Festival show Mythic, formerly known as Persephone. We chatted about the musical’s recent London production, and the cast album that will be coming out in the new year. Mythic was just named one of the UK’s best shows of 2018 by The Stage.

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Festival Show Update: Prom Queen

This month, we caught up with Kent Staines, Akiva Romer-Segal and Colleen Dauncey, the writers of 2017 Festival show Prom Queen, to check in with them and see where the show has been since its Festival presentation, and where it’s going next. 

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Festival Show Update: When We're Gone

This month, we caught up with Scotty Arnold and Alana Jacoby, the writers of 2016 Festival show When We’re Gone (fka Mortality Play)to check in with them before the show’s world premiere at NAMT member Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma this fall. The production is funded in part by a grant from the National Fund for New Musicals. You can also check out a video fo Scotty and Alana talking about what they love about NAMT on YouTube!

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Festival Show Update: The Mad Ones

This month we caught up with Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk, the writers of 2016 Festival show The Mad Ones (formerly known as The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown). This November The Mad Ones will receive an off-Broadway run with new NAMT member The Prospect Theater Company, preceded by a concert with NAMT member Philadelphia Theatre Company. We talked with Kait and Brian about what’s been happening with the show since the Festival and how they’re preparing for this next exciting step.

What was the post Festival response to The Mad Ones like?
We had a powerful response to the piece. It’s a show that people in the industry have heard songs from for a long time so I think there was a lot of interest in seeing what the show was about. It was exciting for us to have the songs seen in context and have the piece feel like more than the sum of its parts. We were able to make connections with lots of theaters that might be interested in doing the show down the line as well as develop a few new relationships with champions of the piece.

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Festival Show Update: Benny & Joon

This month we caught up with the team from 2016 Festival show Benny & Joon: lyricist Mindi Dickstein, composer Nolan Gasser and librettist Kirsten Guenther. This September Benny & Joon will have its world premiere at NAMT member The Old Globe. We talked with the team about what’s been happening with the show since the Festival and how they’re preparing for this next exciting step.

What was the post Festival response to Benny & Joon like? 
The post Festival response to Benny & Joon was wonderful. We could not have been happier or more grateful for the exposure our participation in NAMT’s 28th Festival gave us. There was interest from theaters around the country, which was beyond our wildest expectations. Eric Keen-Louie, Associate Producer at The Old Globe, saw our presentation and loved it, which was a key factor in their offer of a full production to open their 2017-2018 season. We have spent the last few months furiously rewriting in preparation for this very exciting opportunity.

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This month we caught up with Brett Ryback, the writer of Joe Schmoe Saves the World, which was featured in our 2016 Festival. This summer Brett will be workshopping Joe Schmoe… at Indiana University Bloomington. We reached out to find out where the show is now, and what he hopes is next for the show.

What did you discover about the show after presenting it last October, and what work have you done on the piece since then?
What an innocent time it was back in October! I knew the show dealt with important issues, but truth be told there was a part of me—the part that thought Hillary Clinton would be our president—that thought a show about women pushing back against being silenced, and the urgent need for artists to speak out in a political world might feel unnecessary. And then November happened. So the largest discovery has been how timely this piece turned out to be.
From a more technical standpoint, the work I’ve done since then has been to further condense the script. I’ve continued to find places where fat can be trimmed, additional parallels can be made between the two story lines, and scenes can be condensed in order to heighten the dramatic drive of the show.

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This month we chatted with Charlie Sohne and Tim Rosser, the writers of 2013 Festival Show The Boy Who Danced on Air. The show is about to have its New York premiere with Abingdon Theatre Company.
Winner of The 2016 San Diego Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Original Score, The Boy Who Danced on Air is a modern-day love story set in rural Afghanistan. Paiman and Feda have spent their young lives as dancers in the world of bacha bazi, where wealthy men take in boys from poor families, train them to dance at parties, and often abuse them. The two boys’ chance meeting changes the course of their lives and sets them on a journey to find their independence in this musical fable about love, tradition, morality and the strength of the human spirit.
The last time we checked in with you both, you were preparing for your world premiere at Diversionary Theatre in San Diego—what was the response to the show in California?
Charlie: It went well!  It’s a terrifying thing to put something you’ve been working on for years in front of a paying audience for the first time—particularly for us, given the sensitivity of the subject matter in our show.  So it was really wonderful that both audiences and critics responded well to it and seemed to get what we were doing.  And the show received the San Diego Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Original Score, which was a wonderful bonus.

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Festival Show Update: Come From Away

In honor of Come From Away‘s upcoming Broadway opening, this month we checked in with Irene Sankoff and David Hein to see how the piece has changed since we last spoke to them after the 2013 Festival, and what’s different about preparing for a Broadway opening. We also took a look back at the show’s beginnings in a interview with Michael Rubinoff.
The last time we checked in with you both, you were preparing for Come From Away’s world premiere at La Jolla Playhouse. The show has had a whirlwind journey since then! What have been some of your favorite moments along the way?
David: La Jolla was incredible! It was our first production, our first reviews, and our first time working with most of our team.
Irene: We went from being this unknown show to people lining up for 3 hours in the hopes of getting tickets. I was walking around in a daze. Then at Seattle Rep, the theatre was much bigger and I remember the look on the cast’s faces after the blackout when the audience responded. They said after it was like being hit by a wall of sound.
David: The phone lines crashed there because of people looking for tickets. And they flew the Mayor of Gander, Newfoundland out—they declared it “Gander Day” and gave him a key to the city. Seattle was very good to us.
Irene: Ford’s Theatre in DC was surreal because there were so many politicians in the audience, from both sides of the aisle.  And they reacted the same way to this story of kindness—with laughter and tears. We also had a lot of repeat visitors—some who were survivors of the attack in D.C. and some who had lost loved ones.

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Festival Show Update: Beatsville

Beatsville, written by Wendy Wilf and Glenn Slater, appeared in the 2008 NAMT Festival. The show is now preparing for its world premiere in a co-production with NAMT member the 5th Avenue Theatre and Asolo Rep Theatre. This month, we caught up with the writers to hear about the work they’ve done on the piece since the Festival leading up to this premiere.

What was the response to Beatsville like after the 2008 Festival?
We had a great Festival—our cast was spectacular, and made the show look fantastic—and we received a hugely gratifying outpouring of interest from various theatres and organizations who wanted to help us take the next step forward. We sort of fumbled the ball a little—we felt that we still had some writing to do, and weren’t sure what that next step should be, and then we got swept up in other projects. Luckily for us, when we were finally ready to move forward, there was still a lot of goodwill in the community from people who remembered it from the Festival, and they proved instrumental in helping us get the show back on track.

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Festival Show Update: The Fabulous Fitches

The Fabulous Fitches (formerly known as Palm Beach), written by Robert Cary, Benjamin Feldman and David Gursky, has evolved quite a bit since it was presented in NAMT’s Festival in 2001. This month, we checked in with the team to see where the piece is now.

What was the initial reaction to The Fabulous Fitches when it was first presented at the 2001 Festival?
The response was wonderful, and it actually brought the show to the attention of William Morris (now WME), who have represented it ever since.
What developmental work have you done on the show since it was at the NAMT Festival?
The show has had a production (at La Jolla Playhouse in 2005) and several developmental readings, based on what we learned and wanted to explore further in the show.
How has the show evolved in the years since the Festival, and what message does the show hold for audiences today?
The Fabulous Fitches was, in its original form, an homage to screwball Hollywood comedies of the 1930s, in the vein of Bringing Up Baby or My Man Godfrey.  Over time, however, we realized that—while the screwball genre helped dictate the tone of the show—what we were really talking about was the American Dream:  who gets to live it?  And to whom is it denied?  We began to ask ourselves, “Who really has a place at the American table?”.  And then we put that question through the lens of a brisk 30s-style musical comedy, played very much for laughs.
What have been some of the joys and challenges for you as a writing team as the show has seen more development?
It’s always a joy to continue to have a relationship with a show that is so personal, for all three of us, and which is also the first thing we wrote as a team.  The challenges have to do with the fact that the show isn’t really like a lot of other shows, and thus harder to “pitch”—it’s funny and accessible, but it’s political, too, and it doesn’t come with a pre-sold “name brand” which makes it immediately clear what to expect.  On the other hand, that may prove one of its assets; it’s very much its own thing.
What would you like to see as a next step for the show?
The show imagines a tremendously wealthy titan of industry, who controls many brands, deciding to run for political office despite having no real qualifications other than his fame and money—seriously.  So, despite the first draft being written several years ago, it’s become surprisingly (I’d even say shockingly) topical.  It’s also about people thinking one group can lay exclusive claim to “real” American values; again, more topical than we ever imagined it would be by 2016.  We had a wonderful developmental reading with Josh Prince directing this summer, and we’d like to find a home for a full production.  It seems like the right time, to say the least.

For more information about The Fabulous Fitches, contact Susan Weaving at WME.
Photo: Leo McKnight’s chorus girls (L-R: Taryn Darr, Jennifer Evans and Erica Piccininni) entertain the crowd in The Fabulous Fitches, the world premiere production at La Jolla Playhouse. Photo credit: Ken Howard

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Festival Show Update: How to Break

How to Break was presented at the 2014 Festival. We reached out to Rebecca Hart, Aaron Jafferis and Yako 440 to find out what work they’ve been doing on the show since the Festival. How to Break will be presented in Village Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals in August.

What was the response to How to Break like after the 2014 Festival?
Many folks said How to Break moved and excited them personally, but was perhaps not right for their audiences. As the musical theatre landscape changes, we’re hopeful the villagers waving to us from that landscape will be getting closer and closer.

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Festival Show Update: Legendale

Andrea Daly and Jeff Bienstock have been hard at work since presenting Legendale in the 2015 Festival. We checked in with them to find out what’s been happening for the show since the Festival, and what’s coming up next.

What has the post Festival response to Legendale been like?
The most common reaction we got was “I never expected to enjoy a musical about video games this much!” Since we tried to write a show that would appeal to everyone, it was really encouraging to receive a positive response from people who knew nothing about Legendale‘s subject matter. Overall, the NAMT Festival didn’t just meet our expectations, it blew them away.

What did you discover about the show after presenting it last October, and what work have you done on the show since then?
James Monroe Iglehart played our show’s antagonist at the Festival, and he brought up questions about his motivations that we couldn’t easily answer. As it turned out, the character needed a complete overhaul, and that change led us to hone and clarify a number of other characters as well. Since October, we’ve also been lucky enough to participate in two ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshops (in Los Angeles and New York), so the feedback from all three presentations has shaped our work quite a bit.

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Festival Show Update: LIZZIE

Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer, Tim Maner and Alan Stevens Hewitt recently began licensing their 2010 Festival show LIZZIE. Now that they’ve begun licensing the show, we wanted to check in with LIZZIE one last time to find out what this new step means for the show.
LIZZIE has had quite the journey since it appeared in the 2010 Festival! Can you tell us a little bit about the developmental path that brought the show to its current form?
SC: In the 2 years following NAMT, we did a developmental production at Village Theatre in Washington, a concert at Ars Nova in New York, and a co-production of Baldwin Wallace University and Playhouse Square in Cleveland, directed by Vicky Bussert who we met when she directed our NAMT presentation. All those productions were very different, and working with such different directors and actors was great for allowing us to see how the show worked and to zero in on things that needed to be sharpened. We did a lot of rewriting in those years, added a few new songs and reworked whole sections. And we changed the name of the show from Lizzie Borden to just LIZZIE.
Then we made the album! We always described LIZZIE as a concept album come to life, but it was just a way of talking about the show. There was no actual album. But in 2013, Alan completely orchestrated the show and produced the recording, which we approached more like a rock record than a cast album. At that point, the show really felt “finished” to us. (The album is on Broadway Records and is available as a CD, digital download, and vinyl.)
Since then we’ve had productions at TUTS in Houston, Portland Center Stage, Fredericia Teater in Denmark, and Ray of Light Theatre in San Francisco.

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Festival Show Update: The Boy Who Danced On Air

This month, we chat with Festival Alumni Charlie Sohne and Tim Rosser about their 2013 Festival Show, The Boy Who Danced on Air, which is heading to Diversionary Theatre in San Diego this May. This production of The Boy Who Danced on Air is supported by a NAMT National Fund for New Musicals Production Grant, and the show previously received a Writers Residency Grant at New York Theatre Barn.
What was the post-Festival response like to The Boy Who Danced On Air?
Charlie Sohne: I think the big response that we got coming out of the Festival was, “I want to see it with dance!” The world of the show features quite a bit of dance and, beyond that, dance is a fundamental element of how we tell this story — so it was really important to start developing what the choreographic language of the piece was going to be like. We were fortunate enough that right out of the Festival New York Theater Barn (which has long been a really wonderful advocate for the piece) put together a dance workshop for us. It was really exciting to see the work leap off the page and become something more heightened than just a script with music.
Tim Rosser: Since the dance element is so central to the show and was certainly going to require a special touch, we went on a bit of a quest to find the right choreographer. Charlie saw an ad for this piece that Nejla Yatkin was working on called “Oasis: Everything You Wanted To Know About The Middle East But Were Afraid To Dance.” I remember being taken by not just by the beauty of the dance, but by the fact that Nejla often uses clear linear narratives in her dance pieces, which isn’t always the case in modern dance but is, I think, a great advantage in musical theatre. We sent her the script immediately afterwards.

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Festival Show Update: Southern Comfort

This month, we checked in with Festival Alumni Julianne Wick Davis and Dan Collins about their 2012 Festival Show, Southern Comfort, heading to The Public Theater this February for an Off-Broadway run. Southern Comfort is also a past recipient of NAMT’s National Fund for New Musicals grant, having received a Production grant at Barrington Stage Co., a Project Development grant at CAP21 and a Writers Residency Grant at Playwrights Horizons.
Based on the Sundance Award-winning documentary, this heartwarming musical about a group of transgender friends living in rural Georgia is, at its core, a love story between their patriarch, Robert Eads, and newcomer Lola Cola. Through a unique folk and bluegrass-inspired score, the musical chronicles a year in the lives of this unique American family as they courageously defy the odds by simply remaining on the land to which they were born, reminding us that home is where we find comfort in our skin.

What work have you been doing on the show since your production at Barrington Stage Co. (BSC) a couple of years ago?
We learned so much from the excellent and generous audiences and team at BSC.  Based on the reception and feedback, we have been (and continue to) make adjustments to scenes and music throughout the piece.  Many of the changes are subtle and, observed individually, might only be obvious to those very familiar with the previous incarnations of the script, but we feel that the aggregate will significantly strengthen and clarify the story.  This includes replacing at least one of the existing musical numbers in the show with a new song, as well as new orchestrations throughout.  Also, we are not ignoring the fact that since we originally created and presented the piece, there has been an incredibly encouraging growth in awareness around the subject matter.  So, while the narrative will not change (as it is adapted from the documentary and the events still occur in 1998), we know we are speaking to a more informed audience, which we are taking into consideration as we continue to work through the script.We are all very excited that Southern Comfort will be seen Off Broadway this winter at The Public Theater.  How will this production differ from your previous presentations? 
One of the significant changes with regard to the current production will be in the casting.  With this production, we have been able to make a wider outreach in order to include transgender actors and we are so excited and grateful for that opportunity!  Beyond casting, we are working with our brilliant director, Tom Caruso, and the amazing design team he has assembled in order to deepen and expand the visual and technical aspects of the production.  We’ve been fortunate to work with a team that is always so respectful and thoughtful in their approach and, as a result, the presentations have always seemed to grow organically out of, and into, the presentation space.  The fact that this space will now be the iconic and uniquely intimate Anspacher Theater is all the more thrilling and we can’t wait to see the many beautiful ways that Tom and the designers make it a home for Southern Comfort!Are there any parts of the show you are excited to explore in this new production? 
We are so excited about each of the above-referenced points; the casting, the rewrites, the orchestrations and the design.  In addition to each of those things, we simply look forward to expanding our collaboration to include the incredible team at The Public.  The deep wealth of knowledge and support (not to mention the incredible history!) within those walls is irresistibly inspiring.  We truly look forward to continuing to share our thoughts and ideas with this new community of collaborators as we know the result is going to bring even more potency and life to the piece.  So, in short, we are just really excited to explore absolutely everything in the context of this overwhelmingly inspiring environment and community!
What moments in the show are you excited about sharing with a New York City audience? 
We’re excited to share every moment of the show with today’s NYC audience as the whole atmosphere around the subject has changed significantly since our last production.  In previous productions, we occasionally witnessed reactions to the subject matter that were not always positive and did not allow those audience members to connect fully to the story.  We’re grateful for the current opportunity to see many more moments speak to a wider audience and resonate like they never have before.
Why should everyone head to The Public this winter to see Southern Comfort
Our musical about Robert Eads and his chosen family is universal.  Although the subject matter may seem specific to its community, it ultimately is about family and home.  The Public has embraced our show in the most beautiful and relevant way possible and we’re confident that audiences will find themselves and their own family in the story.

For more information about Southern Comfort, visit The Public Theater’s website.

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Festival Show Update: Big Red Sun

This month, we checked in with Festival Alumni John Jiler and Georgia Stitt about their 2010 Festival Show, Big Red Sun.

Big Red Sun has gone through quite a bit of rewriting in the past few years, how would you summarize the show for those who don’t know it or need reminding? 
Big Red Sun tells the story of a family of musicians. Eddie and Helen Daimler were great swing musicians in the 1940s, but now in the early 1960s their teenage son Harry, a budding songwriter himself, lives alone with his mother and writes songs about his great war-hero father. In an effort to write more truthfully, Harry unearths a dark family secret. World War II carved a silent divide between those who fought and those who waited – a truth unshared. In a few short years, the simple melodies of Kern and Berlin were replaced by the dizzying energy of jazz and the beginnings of rock and roll. This is the story of a family that changed as much as their music did.

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Festival Show Update: Ace

This month, we checked in with Robert Taylor and Richard Oberacker about a new version of their 2005 Festival show Ace, which recently had a staged concert production at The Nevada Conservatory Theatre after a few years of revisions. We also chatted with Ace director David H. Bell (below writers’ interview).
Set in 1964, ACE follows the journey of twenty-one-year-old Danny Lucas returning home to discover the truth about his mother’s hidden past.  The unexpected appearance of a grandmother he never knew existed leads to an emotional battle over the legacy of Danny’s real father.  Uncovering a saga spanning three generations of Ace fighter pilots through two World Wars, this original musical explores the trials and triumphs of a family in search of true heroism.

Ace had quite the extraordinary trajectory right after the 2005 Festival with a handful of full productions starting in 2006 leading up to a production at The Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA.  But this was a unique situation where you went in to rehearsals for a full production without ever really having done a reading or a workshop.  What did you learn about the show as you worked your way through the multiple productions?
We learned that the core story of the three generations of this American family and the score they sang resonated deeply with audiences.  We also learned that the central character was entirely passive with no control over his destiny and without true stakes or even an identifiable antagonist.  And we learned that the majority of the first act was expositional and that the stories of the past didn’t arise organically from the present.  Perhaps the most striking thing we discovered was that by deciding to have a lead character who was a child, it demanded there be a host of other ancillary characters to provide the realistic infrastructure for a child’s needs which naturally confused and diffused our central story.

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Festival Show Update: Bernice Bobs Her Hair

This month, we check in with Adam Gwon and Julia Jordan as they prepare their 2011 Festival Show Bernice Bobs Her Hair for its premiere production at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma this Fall.

 
In this new delightful dancing musical, small town socially awkward Bernice visits her popular cousin in the big city and finds herself making changes to fit in with her cousin and the popular crowd. Testing the limits of society, free-spirited Bernice bobs her hair, becoming a social revolutionary in the roaring 20’s.
 
It has been four years since we presented Bernice Bobs Her Hair in the Festival, but do you remember what the reception for the show was like at the Festival?
We remember a great reception, and how much Kate Wetherhead made everyone laugh! We got several offers immediately after the festival, and for a variety of reasons we can’t even remember, none of them worked out at the time. A lot of colleges were interested, but we felt strongly that we wanted to solidify the show with a professional production before releasing it out into the world. So we waited patiently for the right opportunity to come along.
 
Both of you have been quite busy with other projects over the past few years. What work have you done on Bernice?
When we found out that Lyric Theatre would be doing the premiere, it’d been awhile since we’d revisited the script, and at almost the exact same moment, we got an email from Bruce Goodrich at CSU Fullerton, who’d seen the show at NAMT and was checking in to see if Bernice had become available. It was perfect timing, so we did a reading with them and identified all the rewrites we wanted to do before going into rehearsal for the production. We also have a new 11 o’clock number for Bernice, which we wrote in two airport hotel bars after getting stuck on our way home from auditions in Oklahoma City!

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Festival Show Update: STU FOR SILVERTON

This month, we check in with Peter Duchan and Breedlove, the writers of 2014 Festival show Stu For Silverton, as they prepared for a reading of the show at NAMT member Theater Latte Da last month. 

Based on the true story of America’s first transgender mayor and the town that elected him, Stu for Silverton celebrates a new American folk hero from Silverton, Oregon. This heartwarming, all-American new musical blends Our Town and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, testing the boundaries of tolerance as a small community adjusts to big changes.

The summer leading up to last year’s Festival you did some major reworking of the book to Stu for Silverton.  What were those changes?
We’re quite fortunate that the real story of Stu Rasmussen and Silverton provides a strong emotional climax. Everything we’ve written builds to that beautiful, true moment of counter-protest staged by the community. Our challenge all along has been creating the right set up for it, giving the audience the information they need for the moment to really land effectively–and not giving them information that muddies the storytelling and weakens that emotional impact. Prior to NAMT, we made a number of changes, particularly to the first act: a new song/sequence to open the show, a new song to introduce Stu’s girlfriend Vic, a new sequence we hoped would explore the tug of war Stu feels between his hometown and the exploration of his identity that occurs in Portland. So, lots of new stuff, much of which we performed at the NAMT Festival.

 
How did the presentation in the Festival help you discover further changes to make to the show?
The Festival experience was definitely helpful and energized us to make further revisions. We were lucky to have smart, engaged actors in the room, a number of whom graciously offered us their honest reactions during the process. (Annaleigh Ashford, in particular, is a friend of ours, and a smart budding director in her own right, and she gave us some great, generous notes, a number of which we’ve incorporated.) We also met with producers and other theatermakers, gathering reactions and ideas quite helpful to our revisions. The result: we’ve made a number of changes, including writing ANOTHER new song to introduce Vic, as well as reworking the support group sequence, among other things. We learned a ton.
 
What was the response to the show like after the Festival? 
We were thrilled with the response! We worked really hard to shape an abridged, 45-minute Festival draft that would give the audience a fun taste of the show and, hopefully, leave them wanting more. We got a lot of positive reaction from NAMT members. When Theatre Latte Da offered us this workshop, we jumped at the chance to work on the show out of town, out of sight.
 
You are now preparing for readings of the full script at NAMT member Theater Latte Da in Minneapolis this week. How has it been working on the show again and hearing the full version? 

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This month, we catch up with Søren Møller, Artistic and Managing Director at Fredericia Theater and New Works Development Center Uterus in Denmark, about their current production of 2013 Festival show, The Sandman, by Robert Taylor and Richard Oberacker, and their upcoming production of 2012 Festival show, Bleeding Love by Jason Schafer, Harris Doran and Arthur Lafrentz Bacon. Both shows will be performed in rep as part of Fredericia Theater’s season.
 
THE SANDMAN: 
Drawn from the more nightmarish fantasy of E.T.A. Hoffmann, author of “The Nutcracker,” comes a new and darkly comic musical taleThe Sandman. When Maria, the wife of an ingenious German clockmaker named Albert Strauss, engages a new nanny, Fraulein Kaeseschweiss, to care for the two children, Nathaniel and Theresa, a series of bizarre and unnatural events begins to unfold.  As Theresa falls mysteriously ill, a flamboyant and unconventional physician, Dr. Copelius, is summoned upon the nanny’s recommendation. The doctor comes with a young ward in tow, Clara Stahlbaum, recently orphaned after her entire family was incinerated in an inexplicable Christmas tree fire. And as the Strauss family is thrust ever deeper into chaos, the sinister and Machiavellian forces at play are gradually revealedforces from which only the children may be able to save them.
BLEEDING LOVE:
It’s always night, it’s always cold and nothing ever grows. A cloistered teen cellist must find a live rose in order to thaw the frozen heart of the rebel punk next door. An eclectic score, ranging from Broadway to classical to rock, beats within this wickedly demented, post-apocalyptic musical comedy.
 
You are preparing something that is almost never heard of: two world premieres of two new musicals in rep, which happen to both be past NAMT Festival shows.  How did you come to the idea of doing the shows in rep?  
Getting people to see new material is not always easy, and being situated 100 minutes out of Copenhagen, I think it is attractive for more people to take a trip here to see two new shows in a day. Also—having specialized in digital set design, we can shift the setup for the shows much faster than with a more traditional setup. And seeing almost the same cast performing two very different new musicals in one day is a real treat. Also—how often do you get to hear two brand new Bruce Coughlin orchestrations in a day?

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