Julia Gytri and Avi Amon Talk The O'Neill, The White City and Setting Murder to Music

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24 Jul 2014

Julia Gytri
Julia Gytri

Julia Gytri and Avi Amon, attendees of the Eugene O'Neill National Music Theater Conference, chat with Playbill.com about their new musical The White City. 


Julia Gytri and Avi Amon joined forces in 2011 to create The White City, a new musical that was a finalist for the 2014 Larson Grant and was recently workshopped at the 2014 Eugene O'Neill National Music Theater Conference under the direction of Tim Seib and musical direction of Kenneth Gartman.

Here's how the production is billed: "Chicago, in 1893. The city hosts the World's Columbian Exposition. Change is palpable: all in attendance hope to propel society into a shining new era. We follow Lucy, a rambunctious sharpshooter from Buffalo Bill's Wild West, as she explores the fair, thrilled by the fast-paced modernity of city life.

"But trouble simmers beneath the façade of the shimmering 'White City' when young women begin to go missing, as Henry Howard Holmes, a local doctor, exploits the innovations presented at the fair for his own demented purposes.

"Loosely based on the true story of America's first recognized serial killer, The White City explores all of the delightful (and deadly) possibilities that accompany the introduction of new technology.”

Gytri and Amon earned masters degrees in The Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and recently debuted their one-act musical, Step on a Crack, in March 2014 through the Prospect Theatre Company.

The writing duo spoke with Playbill.com to share their insights on musical theatre, The White City and their collaboration.

Can you discuss the process of musicalizing The White City?
Avi Amon: Well, we have been working on it for two years. We started off by finding moments that could be turned into song.

Julia Gytri: It is very dramatic material and lends itself to music easily.

What is the story about?
AA: Just so we're clear, it's not an adaptation of 'Devil in the White City;' it is only based on the same historical figure. Historical figures are public domain.


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