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.

Read More

 In June, we chatted with Kevin Moore, Producing Artistic Director of The Human Race Theatre Co. in Dayton, Ohio about their upcoming Festival of New Works (August 7 & 8) and how it has changed over the years.

The Human Race Theatre Company’s commitment to the creation of new plays and musicals takes center stage this summer with its Festival of New Works. We’ve selected 5 works in development—3 plays and 2 musicals—to present as staged and table readings for this exciting summer event. The productions perform in our 60-seat Caryl D. Philips Creativity Center and at The Loft Theatre over the course of the two-day festival, the culmination of a two-week-long workshop process in which writers have the chance to further develop their scripts with the help of professional directors and actors, then see them performed on stage. 

The Human Race Theatre Co. has been developing new musicals for years.  How did the Festival of New Works come about and how does it fit in to your mission? 
We started in 2000 with three workshops scattered throughout our season- plugging them in wherever we had time.  And we did that for 7 years.  But it became increasingly difficult overlapping with our regular productions.  So we shifted to a summer Festival because we traditionally did not produce in the summer and we now would have no competition for our housing, rehearsal space, actors and stage.  And it allowed us to stay engaged with our audience during the summer months.  Our mission always included nurturing writers and developing new works, which now includes plays as well as musicals.  This summer’s Festival combines both plays and musicals for the first time.
What does the Festival provide for the writers in residence as they work on their show? 
This summer’s Festival expands our format and allows us to work at various levels.  For example, there will be a full workshop of the new musical Mann…and Wife by Douglas J. Cohen and Dan Elish.  Our contract allows for 40 hours of rehearsal over two weeks and a public staged reading.  This really gives the writers a chance to hear their work while they continue to make changes.  We have two new formats this summer:
1) A public table reading of a new play – 11 hours of rehearsal.
2) A format I call a “Snapshot.”  This is a 20-30 minute presentation that introduces our audience to new works and includes scenes, songs and discussions with the writers.  Each work also has an 11-hour rehearsal contract.  This summer, two plays and one musical will be presented as one event for our audience.
Do you present shows at any stage on their trajectory or do you have a preference for when you present them? 

Read More