With Brutal Imagination, her Cornelius Eady-Diedre Murray project, ready to open at the Vineyard, director Diane Paulus is already looking to the spring when her Swimming With Watermelons is tentatively scheduled for the same stage. The play with music, written with husband Randy Weiner, will make its Off-Broadway debut in a co-production with Music-Theatre Group. Swimming With Watermelons takes place during the American occupation of Japan, when wartime threw GIs and girls (and Paulus' own parents) together. Interpolating some twenty songs from the 1940's ("Night and Day," "Stormy Weather" and "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree"), Watermelons traces several relationships including that of a bright young Japanese girl Tomoko with her soldier-lover, an army camp librarian and her Jewish journalist and a West Virginia woman who begins to lose her husband Grant to a seductive Pan Pan girl named Yuki. Swimming With Watermelons played the Berkshire Theatre Festival July 18-Aug. 4.
Paulus and Weiner co-created the long-running hit The Donkey Show with their company, Project 400. She also directed Eady and Murray's Running Man and Fangs, as well as the Vineyard's big hit of 2001, Eli's Comin'.
The Vineyard is also developing new projects by playwright Christopher Shinn (Four) and composer Kirsten Childs (The Bubby Black Girl...).