Bundy, Pen and Reichard Star in New Musical Blood Drive at O'Neill Center, July 17

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08 Jul 2005

Laura Bell Bundy, Polly Pen and Daniel Reichard are featured in the cast of Blood Drive: A Musical Triptych the first of three new musical works at The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's 2005 Music Theater Conference.



Eleanor Reissa directs the work — penned by The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee's Tony Award-winning librettist Rachel Sheinkin with music by Joel Derfner — which runs July 10-17 at the annual summer event. Ray Fellman serves as music director. No casting for the remaining works has yet been announced.

The projects will undergo development with the selected collaborators during July and August at the Waterford, Connecticut venue with professional actors, directors and dramaturgs, and will then be presented in public readings.

The 2005 schedule is as follows:

  • Blood Drive: A Musical Triptych - (July 10-17)
    Rachel Sheinkin provides the book to Joel Derfner's music which connects three interrelated musical short stories about both made and missed connections.

  • In the Heights - (July 23-31)
    Quiara Alegria Hudes pens the book to Lin-Manuel Miranda's score for this "original hip-hop-salsa-merengue musical about two days in the life of Washington Heights, a vibrant immigrant neighborhood at the top of Manhattan."

  • Willy & Rupert - (Aug 6-14)
    Dina Gregory handles book and lyrics while Sam Piperato composes the music which follows "two eccentric lives, one extraordinary friendship and an ambitious quest: to secure a place in The London Times obituaries." The two title characters undergo a mid-life existential crisis that sets them on their way to misadventure in "this poignant comedy with a big heart."

    Tickets are on sale through the O'Neill box office at (860) 443-1238. Outdoor performances are moved indoors in the event of rain. Some material may not be appropriate for children.

    New musical works that have come out of development at the Center in its 28-year history range from the 1979 Tony Award winner Nine through the 2004 Tony Award winner Avenue Q and include more than 100 new works by such award winning talents as Tan Dun, Kirsten Childs, Andrew Lippa, Brian Crawley and Jeanine Tesori.

    The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center was founded in 1964 and 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.

    For more information, visit the website at www.theoneill.org.