Olivo, who left New York City showbiz behind for a "full" life in Madison, WI, makes her directorial debut with the production at the university where she teaches song interpretation. She had recorded Miller & Tysen's piece for its 2012 release on Yellow Sound Label. Performances will be held July 16-26, prior to a remount at the beginning of the school year in September.
Miller & Tyson also wrote the score to the Broadway-bound musical Tuck Everlasting.
The piece, a 19-song journey across America in which its characters find "Reasons to Run," is personal for Olivo. She recorded the song cycle alongside Gavin Creel, Alysha Umphress, Joshua Henry, Barrett Wilbert Weed and Matt Caplan.
Her cast, whose character names model the tracks from the 2012 recording, includes Alyssa Beasley (Barrett), Nick Connors (Matt), Jana Cozine (Rachel), Megan Hofschulte (Karen), Ethan Larsen (Gavin), Andrew Lonsdale (Joshua), Kate Mann (Kate), Jeremy Mendoza (Jeremy) and Hannah Ripp-Dieter (Alysha).
Because Olivo knew the material so well (including Miller & Tysen's True Fans where a few of Fugitive Songs came from) she decided to split up and reassign some of the characters' songs to flesh out their arcs. She also added the character of Rachel, a girl traveling the states by Greyhound, whom Gavin sings about in the song "Lullaby."
The writers are completely supportive of Olivo in her process to rediscover and redefine the material. So are her students, which — for Olivio — is the most exciting. In Fugitive Songs, Olivo sang about her "Reasons to Run" and the inability to be "static one more second." Art imitated life for the co-star of In the Heights, who openly talked about her need to leave New York City behind.
The creative team includes costume designer Jim Greco, set designer Rob Wagner, lighting designer Ben Golden, sound designer GW Rodriguez and stage manager Holly Wilinski.
Performances are held at the Mitchell Theatre at 821 University Avenue. For more information and tickets, call (608) 265-2787 or visit Theatre.Wisc.edu.