Actor, composer, and musician Andrew R. Butler is set to lead the cast of his new sci-fi musical Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future at Ars Nova this fall. Joining Butler in the world premiere will be Rick Burkhardt, Jessie Linden, Stacey Sargeant, and Debbie Christine Tjong.
Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future is created by Butler and directed by Jordan Fein (Singlet). Performances begin September 25, ahead of an October 8 opening, and are scheduled through October 8 at Ars Nova on 54th Street.
Butler is a former Ars Nova resident artist and 2018 Jonathan Larson Grant recipient; his shows include collaborations with playwright Andrew Farmer: Finn the Fearless, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, and Blessing, as well as Folk Wandering, The Dixon Family Album, and Political Subversities.
In Rags Parkland, set 250 years in the future, humans are built in black market labs, and Mars is a forced labor camp where underground outlaws are planning a rebellion.
Butler, on guitar, will play the title role alongside Burkhardt on accordion and playing Rick; Linden on drums and playing Devo; Tjongas Ess on bass and as Pinvint; and Sargeant as Beaux Weathers, whose band of illegal intelligence fought for the right to exist. One additional cast member is yet to be announced.
“Since meeting Andrew, and his spellbinding character Rags Parkland, in ANT Fest 2010, we’ve had the privilege of deepening our relationship with him as both a composer during his Ars Nova residency and as part of the mighty company of actor-musicians from Cesár Alvarez’s Futurity,” says Ars Nova Founding Artistic Director Jason Eagan. “Through subsequent concerts and workshops, we’ve enthusiastically witnessed the development of his character and music into a fully realized, theatrical concert, confirming our hunch that Andrew is both a fascinating performer and a dexterous, versatile composer. We’re looking forward to turning the Ars Nova spotlight on him this fall.”
The creative team includes Madeline Smith (music director), Laura Jellinek (scenic design), Andy Jean (costume design), Barbara Samuels (lighting design), Mikaal Sulaiman (sound design), Jhanaë K-C Bonnick (production stage manager), John C. Moore (assistant stage manager), and Henry Russell Berrgstein, CSA (casting director).
Tickets can be purchased by visiting Arsnovanyc.com or by calling (212) 352-3101.