The upcoming world premiere of The Secret Life of Bees, which will begin performances at Atlantic Theater Company next month, has extended an additional week. The musical adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd’s novel will begin previews May 12 and now continue through July 14.
The Secret Life of Bees features a book by Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, music by Duncan Sheik, and lyrics by Susan Birkenhead. Sam Gold will direct the Off-Broadway production, set to officially open June 13.
The previously announced cast will be led by Tony nominee Saycon Sengbloh (Eclipsed, Hair) as Rosaleen, a Black caretaker who embarks on a pursuit with the young Lily, played by Elizabeth Teeter (The Audience, The Crucible), to uncover the mystery of Lily’s mother’s death against the backdrop of 1960s South Carolina.
The two escape on an adventure where they are taken in by a trio of Black beekeeping sisters. LaChanze (a Tony winner for The Color Purple) will play beekeeper August Boatwright, with Eisa Davis (Kings) as June, Tony nominee Manoel Felciano (Sweeney Todd) as T-Ray, Brett Gray (On My Block) as Zach, and Anastacia McCleskey (Waitress) as May.
Rounding out the cast are Jai’Len Christine Li Josey, Romelda Teron Benjamin, Joe Cassidy, Vita E. Cleveland, Matt DeAngelis, and Nathaniel Stampley.
The Secret Life of Bees will feature choreography by Chris Walker, scenic design by Mimi Lien, costume design by Dede Ayite, lighting design by Jane Cox, sound design by Dan Moses Schreier, puppets by AchesonWalsh Studios, musical direction by Jason Hart, music contraction by Antoine Silverman, orchestrations by Sheik and John Clancy, incidental music orchestrations by Sheik, hair and makeup design by Cookie Jordan, fight direction by UnkleDave’s Fight House, dialects by Dawn-Elin Fraser, and casting by Telsey + Company, Patrick Goodwin, CSA.
A workshop production of The Secret Life of Bees was presented by New York Stage and Film & Vassar in 2017.