The concert was organized by the school and members of the Fun Home creative team in response to South Carolina lawmakers who are attempting to withdraw funding from the school for including the source material in its curriculum.
The performances, which are set for 7 PM and 9 PM at the Memminger Auditorium, are sponsored in part by the Sam and Regina Greene Fund at the Coastal Community Foundation. No state funds are being used.
Scheduled to perform April 21 are original cast members Beth Malone (Alison), Sydney Lucas (Small Alison) and cast addition Emily Skeggs (Medium Alison), who inhabit author-narrator Bechdel at various stages of her life; as well as Tony Award winner Michael Cerveris as novelist Alison Bechdel's father, Bruce Bechdel, and Tony nominee Judy Kuhn as her mother, Helen Bechdel. Completing the cast are Griffin Birney (Christian Bechdel), Roberta Colindrez (Joan), Noah Hinsdale (John Bechdel) and Joel Perez (Roy).
Author Bechdel and the show's creators, Jeanine Tesori (music), Lisa Kron (book and lyrics) and Chris Fenwick (musical director), are also part of the event. The New York production was directed by Sam Gold. Reached for comment via email, Tony Award nominee Kuhn stated: "I am always thrilled to reunite with my Fun Home family. There is something very unique about this piece and being a part of the the creation of it will always be one of the highlights of my career, as was working with this particular group of people. One of the reasons I loved being a part of Fun Home is that the piece and the story it tells is very important and needs to be told right now. I think what is happening in S.C. attests to that. I am thrilled to be able to share it with this community and give them our support."
In a statement to the press, Todd McNerney, chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, described the event as “an incredible academic opportunity for our students and the chance for our community to see Broadway and Off-Broadway stars sing inventive and complex works from a popular musical fresh from the New York stage." He continued, "With Kron, Tesori, Bechdel and musical director Chris Fenwick in attendance, our students will have the added bonus of interaction with major theatrical and writing professionals."
Critics praised the musical adaptation of Fun Home, which premiered at the Public Theater last fall and played an extended engagement. It was recently nominated for nine Lucille Lortel nominations and was also a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. A cast album is now available.
As previously reported, the creative team and producer Kristin Caskey of Fox Theatricals are hopeful that Fun Home may have a future Broadway life. Caskey stated: "We're working to make it happen, we want it to happen, but nothing is set yet."
Fun Home is described as "a fresh, daring new musical based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. When her father dies unexpectedly, graphic novelist Alison dives deep into her past to tell the story of the volatile, brilliant, one-of-a-kind man whose temperament and secrets defined her family and her life. Moving between past and present, Alison relives her unique childhood playing at the family’s Bechdel Funeral Home, her growing understanding of her own sexuality and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father's hidden desires."
Tickets to the concert are $15. Click here to purchase.
To learn more about arts programs at colleges and universities across the country, including College of Charleston, visit PlaybillEDU.com.
View highlights from the New York production below: