Giering and Harrington's Musical Crossing Brooklyn to Premiere in Transport Season

News   Giering and Harrington's Musical Crossing Brooklyn to Premiere in Transport Season Transport Group will stage the world premiere of Crossing Brooklyn, a new musical by Jenny Giering and Laura Harrington this fall, the Drama Desk and Obie Award-honored Off-Broadway troupe annnounced.
Jenny Giering
Jenny Giering

Drama Desk nominee Jack Cummings III, artistic director of the company that gave us intriguing productions of The Audience, Our Town, First Lady Suite and The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, will direct the show. Orchestrations will be by Drama Desk Award winner Mary-Mitchell Campbell (orchestrator and music supervisor of Broadway's Company).

Crossing Brooklyn is a modern love story set in post-9/11 New York City, according to Transport Group. "Des and AJ are young, married and in love. They are both dedicated public school teachers full of hopes and dreams. Everything looks rosy until Des begins to collapse under the weight of her fears. Splitting apart under the strain, Des and AJ struggle to find their way back to each other. The lessons they learn, through the children they meet, will change them forever."

Book and lyrics are by Harrington, music is by Giering.

Rehearsals for Crossing Brooklyn begin Sept. 11 toward an Oct. 19-Nov. 18 run. No casting has been announced.

Laura Harrington's plays and musicals have been produced regionally, Off-Broadway, and in Canada. Some recent credits include Hallowed Ground, Dress Right and Flag Girls, Boston Playwrights Theatre; Resurrection (music: Tod Machover), Houston Grand Opera 1999 World Premiere; The Perfect 36 (music: Mel Marvin), Tennessee Repertory Theatre, Hartt School of Music; Joan of Arc (music: Mel Marvin), Boston Music Theatre Project, Wellesley Theatre; Marathon Dancing, En Garde Arts, NYC, and Munich, Germany; Martin Guerre (Music, Roger Ames), Hartford Stage Company; Lucy's Lapses (music: Christopher Drobny), Portland Opera Company, Playwrights' Horizons; Hearts of Fire, New Music Theatre Ensemble, MN; Babes in Toyland, Houston Grand Opera; and a feminist adaptation of Sleeping Beauty (music: Roger Ames), North Shore Music Theatre. Harrington is on the faculty at M.I.T. and is the winner of the 1998 Massachusetts Cultural Council Playwriting Fellowship, and the 1996 Clauder Playwriting Competition. Other awards include a Bunting Institute Fellowship at Radcliffe College, a Whiting Foundation Grant, the Joseph Kesserling Award for Drama, Opera America development and commissioning grants, a New England Emmy, and a Quebec Cinemateque Award. Giering is a pop songwriter, singer and stage composer. Giering received the 2002-2003 Clifton Artist in Residence at Harvard University, the 2002-2003 Dramatists Guild Jonathan Larson Fellowship, 2001 Constance Klinsky Prize for Excellence in the Composition of Musical Theater from Second Stage Company, a Meet the Composer grant, the 2000 Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award, and was the composer in residence at Sundance's 2006 Ucross Residency.

She also received the National Art Song Award and the 2005 National Music Theatre Network Director's Choice Award for her musical The Mistress Cycle, written with bookwriter-lyricist Beth Blatt. The Mistress Cycle has also received workshops and readings at the Williamstown Theater Festival, Theatreworks/Palo Alto's New Works Festival, Barrington Stage Company, a New York presentation in November 2004 and a sold-out run at the 2005 New York Musical Theatre Festival, both produced by the AWOL Theatre Project, Inc.

Giering wrote the score for Theaterworks/USA's Island of the Blue Dolphins (book and lyrics by Beth Blatt), which toured for two sold-out seasons, and for Arthur's War, which is still in development at Theatreworks. She also wrote the score for The Hotel Carter (book and lyrics by Stephanie Fleischmann), which received a 2000 Frederick Loewe Award, and a 1999 Cameron Mackintosh Development Award from New Dramatists. Currently, she is working on Caraboo, a new musical with lyrics by Beth Blatt and a book by Marsha Norman. Caraboo was developed at the National Musical Theatre Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and at Theatreworks Palo Alto's Writers' Retreat and New Works Festival. It was subsequently presented at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's 2005 Festival of New Musicals, and received a developmental production at the Goodspeed Opera House in May 2006, directed by Gary Griffin.

Recent projects include Songs for An Unmade Bed (lyrics by Mark Campbell) at New York Theatre Workshop. Crossing Brooklyn's earlier title was Begin Again and it was commissioned by the Boston Music Theatre Project.

Giering is heard on many albums, including the PS Classics release "Windflowers: The Songs of Jerome Moross"; and her song "I Follow" is on Audra McDonald's debut release "Way Back To Paradise" on Elektra/Nonesuch Records. "Look for Me" is the name of her own solo album.

The creative team of Crossing Brooklyn includes choreographer Scott Rink, set designer Sandra Goldmark, lighting designer R. Lee Kennedy, costume designer Shana Albery, sound designer Michael Rasbury, Nora Brennan Casting and dramaturg Adam Perlman.

Performance schedule is Mondays at 8 PM, Wednesdays at 8 PM, Thursdays at 8 PM, Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 2 and 8 PM , Sundays at 3 PM. Tuesdays are dark and there is no Saturday matinee Oct. 20.

All seats are $40. Performances will play The Connelly Theatre at 220 E. 4th St., between Avenues A and B.

For tickets, visit www.theatermania.com or call (212) 352-3101.

For more about Obie and Drama Desk-honored Transport Group, visit www.transportgroup.org

*

According to its mission statement, "Transport Group develops and produces work by American playwrights and composers with the aim of exploring the American conscience in the 20th and 21st centuries.

"Transport Group uses heightened language, music, and imagery to guide the design and delivery of productions.

"In addition, Transport Group provides opportunities for audiences of all ages to connect to the issues surrounding the American experience by offering educational outreach programs that expand an audience's knowledge of and exposure to the American canon of plays and musicals."

In 2006-07, Transport Group won a Special Drama Desk Award for its "breadth of vision and presentation of challenging productions."

Donna Lynne Champlin won an Obie Award for her critically acclaimed performance as Cora Flood in TG's 50th anniversary production of William Inge's The Dark at theTop of the Stairs.

Transport Group received an Obie Award Grant for its continuing excellence in the New York theatre scene.