O'Neill's Music Theater Conference Will Develop The War Dept. and The White City; Casting Announced

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19 Jun 2014

The War Dept., a political musical exploring life after the Civil War, and The White City, a new work about a serial killer in Chicago, will be developed at the 37th annual National Music Theater Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center.

The Conference will begin June 28 and continue through July 11.

"We are very pleased to have two exceptional casts to participate in the development of The War Dept. and The White City this summer," artistic director Paulette Haupt said in a statement. "Casting for the O'Neill is a concerted effort in collaboration with the creative teams, directors and music directors with the inestimable advice and recommendations from our casting director, Alan Filderman."

Productions that were developed at the Conference include Avenue Q, The Wild Party, In the Heights and Violet.

The 2014 selections include:



The War Dept.
By Jim Bauer & Ruth Bauer
Directed by Melia Bensussen
Musical direction by Dominick Amendum
Public staged readings June 28-29 and July 2 and 4
Featuring Cole Burden, Alan H. Green, Hunter Ryan Herdlicka, James Judy, Denise Summerford, Jessica Vosk, Zakiya Young and Lauren Zakrin

"The American Civil War has ended, but the task of cleaning up the mess – and trying to make sense of it all – has only just begun. That work falls in large part to the eccentric savant Private William T. Clarke working in an obscure and mysterious division of The War Department, sorting through mountains of records housed now in Ford's Theater, dark since Lincoln's assassination there three years before. Clarke, fighting demons of his own, finds his strange and insular domain invaded by three visitors in the same day, each looking desperately for something precious lost in the war. Unfortunately, Clarke may be the only person who can help them, and the war may not be over yet."

The White City
By Julia Gytri & Avi Amon
Directed by Tim Seib
Musical direction by Kenneth Gartman
Public staged readings July 5-6, 9 and 11

Featuring Jordan Barbour, Charlie Brady, Angel Desai, Mallory Hawks, Caitlin Kinnunen, Kate Loprest, Tommy McDowell, William Parry, Caesar Samayoa and Scott Wakefield
"Chicago, 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."

Tickets and more information are available by calling (860) 443-1238 or visiting theoneill.org.