The musical was first developed at London's National Theatre in 2012, as part of the National Theatre's Connections program that unites youth theatres across the U.K.
While the goal was to always write a full-length musical, Sater, Sheik and collaborator Jessie Nelson created a streamlined version of Alice By Heart for the National that was presented by young performers across the country.
According to Sater, Theatre Aspen's play development series allows the writers to re-expand the production to its full-length format and restore songs and scenes that were removed in order to prune the running time for the U.K. youth presentations. The Theatre Aspen workshop will incorporate characters and story arcs that were previously unseen in the U.K.
Lear deBessonet (Good Person of Szechwan, The Tempest) will direct the late May workshop of Alice By Heart, which is billed as "a fresh, modern, musical take" on Lewis Carroll's classic.
The musical has a book by Sater and Nelson ("I Am Sam"), lyrics by Sater and music by Sheik. The workshop is presented in association with Grammy Award-winning Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records founder Kurt Deutsch. Chase Brock (Spider-Man) is choreographer.
The cast features Riley Costello (Everyday Rapture), Mike Faist (Newsies), Noah Galvin (The Burnt Part Boys), Stephanie Hsu, Rodney Ingram, Nathaly Lopez (What’s It All About?), Sydney Patrick, Sydney Shepherd (First Date), Marrick Smith, Phillipa Soo (Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812) and Molly Gordon ("I Am Sam") as "Alice."
The Alice By Heart workshop will culminate in presentations for an invited audience.