Smith will direct a series of workshops at Virginia Tech in the next year to continue to develop the production. In its place, Arena Stage will present Peter & Wendy, a musical created by the pioneering Mabou Mines Theatre Company of New York that reinvents J.M. Barrie's classic tale through east Asian puppetry and an original Celtic score by Johnny Cunningham.
Lee Breuer, the co-founder of Mabou Mines and co-creator of many well-known productions including The Gospel at Colonus, directs.
"Arena Stage is eager to work hard to bring The Women of Brewster Place to its full potential for its premiere in the 2007-08 season," said Smith, in a statement. "This decision provides Arena Stage with the perfect opportunity to present the D.C.-area premiere of Peter & Wendy. In every city where it has been performed, Peter & Wendy has been met with rave reviews and enthusiastic audiences. From the first notes I heard of the stunning musical score, I knew Arena Stage had to bring this alluring production to Washington audiences."
Peter & Wendy, adapted and produced by Liza Lorwin, will play April 27-June 24, 2007, in the Arena's Kreeger space in Washington, D.C.
* The world premiere musical, The Women of Brewster Place, is written by the creator of the cult Off-Broadway show Zanna, Don't!
Drawn from the Gloria Naylor novel, which was also made into a TV movie, The Women of Brewster Place "depicts seven courageous black women living on Brewster Place and their struggles against poverty, racism and troublesome men," according to the earlier season announcement by the resident theatre in Washington, D.C. "By exploring America's African-American working class, the musical delves into the personal relationships, dreams and desires of a group of women who persevere in the face of life's disappointments."
Book, music and lyrics are by Tim Acito. This "world premiere musical adaptation vividly portrays the intense struggle all human beings face in their quest for happier lives."
For more information about one of the nation's oldest resident Equity theatres, visit www.arenastage.org.