O'Neill Musical Theater Conference Kicks Off June 27

News   O'Neill Musical Theater Conference Kicks Off June 27 The O'Neill Theater Center Musical Theater Conference, showcasing the new stage adaptations of Tales of the City and Picnic at Hanging Rock, gets underway June 27.

Joe Calarco (The Audience, Bury the Dead) directs the Daniel Zaitchik musical Picnic at Hanging Rock, which is based on the 1967 novel by Joan Lindsay. The work is presented June 27-July 3.

Cast members include Whitney Bashor, Charlie Brady, Matt Doyle, Jessica Grove, Veronica Kuehn, Hannah Laird, Anne Letscher, Anne Nathan, Lauren Nolan, Laila Robins, Sarah Shahinian, Nick Sullivan, Kate Wetherhead, Jessica-Snow Wilson, Lauren Worsham and Valerie Wright. Deborah Abramson (Spring Awakening) serves as musical director.

According to press notes, "This delicately haunting mystery follows a group of schoolgirls from a prestigious boarding school who are released from their studies for a picnic on Valentine's Day in 1900. When three of the girls vanish into the wilderness, we are lulled into a dark reverie of sexuality, repression, nature, and the unknown."

The second production is the new musical adaptation of Armistead Maupin's acclaimed series Tales of the City. The musical has a score by Scissor Sisters band members Jason Sellards (lyrics) and John Garden (music), with a book by Tony winner Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q). Tales of the City is presented July 4-11.

Jason Moore (Shrek, Avenue Q, Steel Magnolias), directs a cast featuring Mary Birdsong, Candy Buckley, Jeffrey Carlson, Diane Davis, Christopher J. Hanke, John Jellison, Steve Kazee, Jose Llana, Matt McGrath, Betsy Wolfe and Kristine Zbornik. Stephen Oremus (Wicked, 9 to 5) serves as musical director. Tales of the City, according to press notes, "follows a community of friends, lovers, and others who reside at the mythical address of 28 Barbary Lane in 1976 San Francisco. Mary Ann Singleton, a fresh arrival from Ohio, falls into a diverse band of Bohemians and blue-bloods, as families are created and rediscovered under the watchful eye of mystical landlady Anna Madrigal."

Tickets for the O'Neill Conference readings are available by phoning (860) 443-1238 or visit www.theoneill.org.

The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center was founded in 1964 and is based in Waterford, CT. Programs at the Center include the Puppetry Conference, Playwrights Conference, Critics Institute, Music Theater Conference and the National Theater Institute. The Monte Cristo Cottage, O'Neill's childhood home, is also owned and operated by the group.

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