By Kenneth Jones
01 Jun 2007
The musical by bookwriter Peter Ullian (Flight of the Lawnchair Man, Elliott Ness in Cleveland), composer Joel Derfner (Blood Drive) and lyricist Len Schiff has been seen in developmental airings in New York City.
Derfner and Schiff are alumni of the NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.
Terezin is billed as "an unforgettable story of suffering, survival, and strength of the human spirit [that] tells one of the most fascinating and least-known stories of the Holocaust," according to Village Theatre. "Based on the true story of the Czech ghetto Theresienstadt, founded by the Nazis in 1943 and designated for the intellectual and artistic elite Jews of Europe, Terezin follows a group of prisoners as they try to come to terms with their captivity. When the Nazis 'beautify' the camp in an attempt to deceive the Red Cross and sway international perception, the prisoners try to expose the truth through art and music. A remarkable and sensitive new musical that finds hope amid the horror, Terezin is not to be missed."
Terezin is directed by Jeremy Dobrish (adobe theatre company, Drift, Spain, In the Wings). Musical staging is by Kathryn Van Meter.
Music supervision and orchestrations are by Sean Patrick Flahaven (Saturday Night and other Sondheim shows). Musical director R.J. Tancioco conducts a six-piece orchestra.
The cast of local actors includes Dennis Bateman, Mark Chenovick, Jason Collins, Anthony Curry, Kai Daly, Sarah Davis, Brian Earp, Ann Evans, and Aaron Shanks. Janette L. Hubert is stage manager.
For more information, visit www.villagetheatre.org.
Terezin was commissioned by California-based Virginia S. Criste of Snap-Two Productions, whose grandparents spent their last years interred in the camp.
Terezin received several developmental readings in New York City from 2003 to 2005, culminating in a series of sold-out concerts in Melting Pot Theatre Company's "Preludes: New Musicals in Concert" series at Symphony Space in February 2006. Village Theatre presented readings in June 2006.
An Off-Broadway production is being planned for spring 2008.
Village Theatre is led by executive producer Robb Hunt and artistic director Steve Tomkins.
To date, over 55 new musicals have been Village-developed, many of which have gone on to stages throughout the world, including The Ark, After the Fair, Play It By Heart, Making Tracks, The Wedding Banquet and Eleanor.