Randal Myler and Dan Wheetman, creators of the musicals It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues, Love Janis and Hank Williams: Lost Highway, developed the new show together, drawing from a section of the 1996 Denver Center world premiere musical, Appalachian Strings. Myler is a longtime resident director and artist at the Tony Award-honored Denver Center.
Fire on the Mountain premiered at San Diego Repertory Theatre in May 2002 and will be staged Off-Broadway by Manhattan Ensemble Theater (MET) this fall under Myler's direction. The Denver Center production, also directed by Myler, will run in The Stage Theatre at Denver Center for the Performing Arts, March 31-April 30, 2005 (opening April 7).
MET in New York City will present Fire on the Mountain March 4-5 as a benefit and sneak preview that anticipates the fall run. Myler will direct Margaret Bowman in the presentation.
According to the revised DCTC season announcement, "Fire on The Mountain blends oral history and traditional songs of the coal miners. Although their lives were often filled with misery, their spirits were not, and the music testifies to their indomitable courage. A powerful tribute to the men and women who work the mines for the benefit of us all."
DCTC artistic director Donovan Marley also announced on Feb. 19 that August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean will not be staged by the company in 2004-05, but will happen after a New York run of the play. Marley and director Israel Hicks are searching for another play to take its place, to run in The Space Theatre from Jan. 20-Feb. 26, 2005.
Laird Williamson, director of the company's current production of John Brown's Body, will direct A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur by Tennessee Williams, already scheduled in The Jones Theatre from Jan. 13-March 12, 2005.
Dates for Dirty Story by John Patrick Shanley, directed by Anthony Powell, have been moved up to Oct. 7-Nov. 13, 2004, in The Space Theatre making this production the season opener.
For information, visit www.denvercenter.org.