The sixth annual festival (that runs through April 22) features first-time staged readings of the new musicals Writing Arthur and The Burnt Part Boys as well as the new plays These Shining Lives and Equivocation.
An April 16 panel discussion with the festival's artists is scheduled for at 7 PM.
The works scheduled to play the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts' Second Stage follow:
Music, lyrics, and book by David Austin
Story development by Jennifer Maloney
Maloney directs Ana Gasteyer (Wicked, "Saturday Night Live") in the new work billed as "a fantastical musical adventure" which follows the title character who "lives a secret double life... behind the locked doors of his bookstore. There, amidst the songs of an ancient Irish village, he escapes into the fantasy world of a novel he has been writing since childhood. When reality intrudes and his worlds unravel, Arthur must find the courage to put down the pen and finally start to live." The work is produced in partnership with Roy Miller (The Drowsy Chaperone) and Jennifer Maloney (Spring Awakening).
Kent Nicholson directs the 1920s Chicago-set drama inspired by a true story which "pits industrial might against four fiercely determined friends who launch a very public battle against the devastating effects of corporate greed."
Nicholson also stages this play tribute to the Bard from Boston Shakespeare Company founder. "Will Shakespeare [is] in a bind. The actors are butchering Lear, his daughter wants attention, and the government is demanding a 'play of the week' about the terrorist attack on Parliament. And what about those witches King James would have in every scene? Conspiracy or fabrication? Catholic or Protestant? Revenge or justice? As Shakespeare struggles to unravel 'the gunpowder plot,' the truth becomes increasingly elusive."
The Burnt Part Boys (April 21, 7:30 PM; April 22, 4 PM)
Book by Mariana Elder
Music by Chris Miller
Lyrics by Nathan Tysen
Robert Kelley directs this "coming of age musical" set in West Virginia's "rugged coal country in the 1960's. In the wake of a devastating mining accident, a group of teenage friends must redefine their lives. As the long-shuttered mine reopens, they embark on a coming-of-age-journey that transforms their sheltered worlds and their fragile dreams for the future." The 2007 New Works Festival — which seeks out new material and serves as a collaborative matchmaker for writers and composers — is presented by TheatreWorks' New Works Initiative. Among the works that have been developed through the company include Paul Gordon's Emma, Tanya Shaffer's Baby Taj, GrooveLily's Striking 12, Joe DiPietro and David Bryan's Memphis as well as Stephen Schwartz and Scott Schwartz's My Ántonia.
Tickets to the festival at the Second Stage, 500 Castro Street in Mountain View, CA are available by calling (650) 903-6000 or online at www.theatreworks.org.