The new "hilarious and heartbreaking" work is by the author of Raised in Captivity (Drama Desk nomination, Outer Critics Circle nomination), Pterodactyls (Oppenheimer Award, Kesselring Award, Drama Desk nomination, Outer Critics Circle nomination), The Food Chain (Outer Critics Circle nomination), The Eros Trilogy, Fit to Be Tied, The Maiden's Prayer, Free Will and Wanton Lust (Helen Hayes Award), The Altruists and Three Changes.
Production dates and creative team for The Lyons will be announced later, along with other titles and creatives.
In a letter to members, Vineyard also confirmed what had previously been reported: The 2012 Vineyard Developmental Lab Production will be Andra, a new musical by 84-year-old Tony Award-winning composer John Kander (Chicago, Cabaret, Zorba, Kiss of the Spider Woman) and 32-year-old playwright-lyricist Greg Pierce.
"It's a tiny, tiny little piece for four actors and three musicians," Kander told Playbill.com on May 4. "It's basically three short stories with the same four actors, and — after it's over — there is a loose kind of linkage between them, but it's not something you'd be aware of while watching. It's so small you could do it in your living room."
He added, "Greg is a short story writer and playwright. We invented these three short stories; he's writing them and I wrote the score. It's the same way all of [my past collaborators] work: getting together and playing 'what if?' and building and having a very nice time." As previously reported, a reading of the first act of the new Kander & Pierce show, entitled Andra, was presented privately at the Vineyard, and the two are at work on the remaining two acts, which will be developed in private readings over the next year. The Vineyard calls the show Andra, but Pierce's website calls the project The Landing; this is why this phase of the project is called "developmental."
On May 3, The Scottsboro Boys, Kander's musical with his late lyricist collaborator Fred Ebb and librettist David Thompson, snagged 12 Tony Award nominations for the fall 2010 Broadway production that followed the spring world premiere at Vineyard.
Pierce writes plays and fiction. His website indicates that the three parts of the new Kander musical are called Andra, The Brick and The Landing. He has received fellowships from the Edward F. Albee Foundation, The Djerassi Institute, the New York Public Library, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and the Baryshnikov Arts Center. His stories have appeared in magazines such as Avery, Berkeley Fiction Review, Confrontation and Conjunctions. His stage adaptation of Haruki Murakami's novel The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (co-written with director Stephen Earnhart) premiered at The Ohio Theatre in New York City, and will next appear at the Edinburgh International Festival in August 2011. His plays include Slowgirl, Kick Stop, Odyssey Room, The Rules of Fetch and The Suburbanoids. They have been produced or workshopped with Naked Angels, The New Group, The Public Theater's Under the Radar festival, The Kraine Theater, the Rattlestick Theater, the Great Plains Theatre Conference, 3-Legged Dog, Out North/Anchorage, and others. For years, he wrote and performed with a theatre group called The Bad Astronauts.
Kander and Ebb first collaborated on the song "My Coloring Book" in 1962. Their works also include Flora, The Red Menace; Cabaret, The Happy Time, Zorba, Chicago, The Act, The Rink, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Curtains and The Scottsboro Boys.
Vineyard's official announcement of its 2011-12 season is expected shortly. Visit vineyardtheatre.org.