Presented June 18-July 12 in Waterford, CT, the conference is led by artistic director Paulette Haupt. The musicals are developed with professional actors, directors and music directors. It culminates in public performances of each work.
The Kooman and Dimond piece centers around a man whose life turns into a musical. Additional works include Nathan Christensen and Scott Murphy's Broadcast, about people seeking connection in the technological age; and Mkhululi Mabija and Michael Thurber's African-set musical Goddess, about a mysterious jazz singer.
Koomand and Dimond were also featured in Playbill.com's "Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know" series. Check it out here.
Here's a look at the selected projects:
Book and lyrics by Nathan Christensen
Music by Scott Murphy
Presented June 22, 23, 26 and 28.
"Does our constantly evolving technology really help us to connect with each other, or is it keeping us at a distance? That is the question of the original wireless era a hundred years ago—at the dawn of radio. Broadcast weaves together the lives of inventors, housewives, soldiers, salesmen,and the people next door, all trying to be heard over the invisible waves of that brand new world."
The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes
Book and lyrics by Christopher Dimond
Music by Michael Kooman
Presented June 29 and 30, July 3 and 5.
"Howard Barnes is a perfectly average man in his early thirties, until the day that he wakes up to discover that his life has become a musical. Desperate to escape from the show, Howard embarks on a fantastical quest through the realm of musical theater. Equal parts satire, romantic comedy, and love letter to the American musical, The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnesis intended for people who love musical theater, and their spouses who hate it."
Goddess Book, lyrics, and music by Mkhululi Mabija and Michael Thurber
Presented July 6, 7, 10 and 12.
"Goddess is set in a fictional city in present day Africa where Nadira, a beautiful, sultry singer, performs nightly in a jazz club. The story revolves around Nadira and the fate of the men who love her. An original musical with pulsing, modern African rhythms,Goddessis a story of love, destiny and the place of the supernatural in the modern world."
Single tickets to the Music Theatre Conference performances go on sale to the general public June 5. Member tickets begin sale May 13. Phone (860) 443-1238 or visit www.theoneill.org.
The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center was founded in 1964 and is 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.