ISSAQUAH, Wash. - Village Theatre is excited to announce the lineup for The 18th Annual Festival of New Musicals, a series of five staged readings of musicals currently in development. The Festival will take place in Issaquah August 10-12, 2018.
Readings in this year's Festival will include: Elysium, the moving story of a family dying under the weight of their own secrets; The Passage, a coming-of-age mystery about a boy battling a monster holding his father captive; Teddy & Max, an examination of feminism through the lens of a sister singing duo in the '60s; Hansel & Gretl & Heidi & Günter, a hilarious family adventure of what happens after Hansel and Gretl escape; and The Homefront, a rock musical about female factory workers at the end of World War II. The Festival will also feature the Northwest Songwriters Showcase - a concert presentation of original music by some of the Puget Sound's most talented musical theatre writers, including: Rheanna Atendido, Scotto Moore, Lauren Marshall, Orlando Morales, and more.
'These five shows are drastically different and speak to the world today, exploring themes of identity, loss, motherhood, equal rights, and what it means to be an American,' says Associate Artist Director, Brandon Ivie. 'Most excitedly, three of these shows will be receiving their first reading ever and two of the shows - Teddy & Max and The Homefront - have come through our Writers Residency program.'
The Festival of New Musicals provides an essential platform for writers to incorporate a key component of live theatre - the audience. Each new musical will be rehearsed during the week, then presented to the audience in a staged reading format, performed in full using scripts. Many of these shows go on to further development in Village Theatre's Beta Series as well as on the Mainstage.
The readings are not open to the general public; however, those interested in seeing these new works at the Festival may become Village Originals Members to gain access to this event and other exclusive Village Theatre benefits and events. Contact Village Theatre at (425) 392-2202 or visit https://villagetheatre.org/issaquah/vo-festival.php for more information.
Summary of Staged Readings
Music by Ben Chavez
Book & Lyrics by Yianni Papadimos
Elysium is the story of an Ohio family dying under the weight of its own secrets. When Katie returns to her childhood home for her father's funeral, she reunites with Tabby, the sister she hasn't seen in years. Their reunion was supposed to be a peaceful one filled with memory and mourning - however, a terrible storm brings the arrival of an unexpected guest. As the whiskey pours, questions about a brother and father unconditionally loved by a town are finally answered.
By David Darrow
Albert, a sixth grader, has a monster living in his basement. When it captures his father, he enlists his brave new friend, Cassie, to embark on an epic journey into the depths of his home. The Passage is a coming-of-age story about two children confronting a reality stranger than anything they could imagine.
TEDDY & MAX
Book & Lyrics by Brian Crawley
Music by Zoe Sarnak
Teddy and Max are two young sisters from Queens who form a singing duo in the late 60s. Joining the vanguard of the era's singer-songwriters, they question everything - from their given names (Theodora and Maxine) to the roles others expect them to play. Teddy & Max examines the decisions female performers were able to make for themselves in that era - sometimes a little ahead of women in other professions - how the culture supported and obstructed them, and of course how their decisions look to us through the frame of feminism today.
HANSEL & GRETL & HEIDI & GÜNTER
Book by Hannah Kohl
Lyrics by Daniel Maté
Music by Will Aronson
Gretl - yes, that Gretl - is now a single mom living in modern day Chicago, still suffering the post-traumatic stress of her fairytale childhood. She can't resist stuffing her kids' pockets full of pebbles, spraying them with deer musk to hide their human scent from witches, and imposing a strict no-sugar policy. Her tragically modern kids, Heidi and Günter, are fed up, and dream of the impossible: a normal childhood. But when long lost Uncle Hansel shows up at their doorstep, they are plunged into an unexpected adventure that brings the family together in a hilarious and touching tumble of past and present.
Book by Jenny Stafford
Music & Lyrics by Sam Salmond
The Homefront is a rock musical about female factory workers at the end of World War II. As soon as the war was won, the women were fired in order to make room for the men returning home. This is the story of one woman's journey at the earliest stages of a feminist revolution in the American workforce, as she fights to get the women hired back at the factory - while balancing her relationship with her husband, a returning war veteran. What happens when our progressive ideals meet reality? What are we willing to give up - and who are we willing to overlook - in order to get what we want?
About Village Theatre's Village Originals Program
Village Theatre's mission stipulates a dedication to the development of new musicals that achieve national exposure. The Village Originals program of readings, workshops, and developmental productions represents one of the strongest commitments to new musicals in the nation, developing such musicals as Pulitzer Prize-winner Next to Normal, Tony Award winner Million Dollar Quartet, Drama Desk Award-winner Cupid & Psyche, Stephen Schwartz's Snapshots, and the Drama Desk Award-nominated It Shoulda Been You, After the Fair, and Making Tracks. Village Theatre is one of the few resident theatres to provide regular opportunities at every step of musical development, from first table reading to full-scale premiere production. Each season, new works are included as part of Village Theatre's five-show Mainstage lineup alongside the classics. Anchored by the Annual Festival of New Musicals and the Beta Series, the Village Originals program is dedicated to the continued growth and evolution of musical theatre, and a determination that the form will remain vibrant and relevant for generations to come.
About Village Theatre
Based in Issaquah, WA, with operations in Everett, WA, Village Theatre is a leading producer of musical theatre in the Pacific Northwest. Producing entertaining, quality productions since 1979, Village Theatre has grown into one of the region's best-attended theatres, with approximately 20,000 subscribers and 220,000 projected total attendance each season. Through its Village Originals program, Village Theatre is nationally recognized for its contribution to the development of new musicals, having supported the creation of over 160 new works to date. Village Theatre also takes pride in nurturing tomorrow's audiences through its Youth Education and Outreach programs, KIDSTAGE and Pied Piper, serving over 58,000 young people and their families annually.
Courtesy of Village Theatre
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