Theatreworks/USA, the not-for-profit troupe that has introduced millions of kids to live theatre over 43 years, presents the world premiere of The Summer of the Swans as its annual free summer theatre title at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, July 16-Aug. 20.
The Julia Jordan play, based on the Newberry Award winning book by Betsy Byars, is produced in association with the Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation.
Opening after previews is July 23. This is the company's 15th season of free summer theatre in Manhattan. In 2002, Jordan's musical version of Sarah, Plain and Tall was offered, to acclaim.
The Summer of the Swans is directed by Joe Calarco (Shakespeare's R&J and Sarah, Plain and Tall) and has incidental music by Obadiah Eaves. The play is "a coming-of-age story about a young girl grappling with adolescence, her changing relationship with her older sister, and her ongoing responsibilities for her disabled brother." It "presents a sympathetic look at a non-traditional family and how crisis brings them together and ultimately helps them grow."
Bruce Springsteen has given the production permission to use his song, "Born to Run," because, according to the company, "he believes in what Theatreworks/USA does for kids and their families."
The show features scenic design by James Wolk, costumes by Amela Baksic and lighting by Chris Lee.
The Summer of the Swans, which runs about an hour, is recommended for general audiences and children ages 10 and up. Tickets are free and available on a first come first served basis at the box office of the Lucille Lortel Theatre, 121 Christopher Street, in Greenwich Village, on the day of the performance one hour prior to curtain time. Ticket availability is generally greater for weeknight and weekend performances.
For more information, call (212) 627-7373, or visit www.theatreworksusa.org.
Now in its 43rd season, Theatreworks/USA has become "America’s largest not-for-profit professional theatre for young audiences." Among Theatreworks’ honors include the 1996 Drama Desk Award, the 1996 Lucille Lortel Award, the 1998 Dawson Award for Programmatic Excellence, and the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Award. Theatreworks’ repertoire includes over 105 plays and musicals created by noted as well as up-and-coming playwrights, composers and lyricists. Performing at home in New York and touring across the country to theatres, arts centers and schools, Theatreworks has performed for approximately 70 million people in 49 states, with an annual audience of over 4.6 million.