Giering Musical and Punchdrunk Adaptation Set for Sundance White Oak Lab

News   Giering Musical and Punchdrunk Adaptation Set for Sundance White Oak Lab Jenny Giering's Saint-Ex and British theatre group Punchdrunk's version of Woyzeck will be the participants in the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab at White Oak.
Composer Jenny Giering
Composer Jenny Giering

Running Oct.19-Nov. 2 at White Oak in Yulee, FL, the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab at White Oak focuses on support for innovative musical theatre as well as on ensemble-generated work. Philip Himberg serves as the artistic director.

On the 2008 artistic support team are Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Doug Wright (I Am My Own Wife, Grey Gardens), opera and theatre director Stephen Wadsworth, and Sundance associate artist Janice Paran as dramaturg.

"Although remarkably diverse thematically, these two ambitious projects are equally deserving of creative support and we are honored to have these artists with us this year," said Himberg in a statement. "A seminal, unfinished work of a great playwright interpreted by one of Britain's foremost experiential troupes, and an evocative exploration of a renowned Frenchman's private life realized by a gifted American composer — this year's Lab represents an amazing intersection of what is possible in theatre."

Saint-Ex, according to Sundance notes, "is a musical journey through the life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the French author and aviator perhaps best known throughout the world as the author of the enduring children's classic, 'The Little Prince.' Saint-Ex is a magical and evocative exploration of Saint-Exupéry's adventures and romances; of his tempestuous marriage to Consuelo de Saint-Exupéry, his Salvadorean wife, and his delight in the brotherhood of the Aéropostale; of the fierce intellect and profound sensitivity of a soul who gave his life fighting for his home and beliefs."

Featuring a score by Jenny Giering (The Mistress Cycle, The Hotel Cater), Saint-Ex has book and lyrics by Sean Barry. Kent Nicholson will direct the production; Matt Castle will music direct. London's experimental troupe Punchdrunk has created its own version of Woyzeck, the play that was left unfinished by the late German playwright Georg Büchner. "Based on the true story of Johann Christian Woyzeck, a soldier who was convicted of murdering his girlfriend in 1821," the Punchdrunk version of the play explores the connections between text, physical characterization and sound and the themes of "military corruption, capital punishment, [and] medical experimentation." The work is aiming for a 2010 London debut.

Felix Barrett is the founder and artistic director of Punchdrunk; Colin Marsh serves as producer.