The public presentations are held at First Stage Theatre, 120 Front Street, in Issaquah, WA, in suburban Seattle. Village Theatre is a leading producer of musical theatre in the Pacific Northwest.
David Bennett directs the workshop of the contemporary show inspired by "stories about Ivy League graduates who strike it rich tutoring the high school kids of Manhattan's elite."
According to Village Theatre, "The Tutor tells a fresh, funny, contemporary tale of romance, art, and what it really takes to get into Princeton."
The show was part of Village Theatre's Fourth Annual Festival of New Musicals in August 2004. The Tutor features mature language and themes.
In production notes, Wood said, "A few years ago I met a couple of 20-somethings struggling to be artists and make a living in New York City. Many of them were equipped with Ivy League degrees, which I found rather dazzling because I come from humbler stock (I'm the first woman in my family tree to attend college at all, in fact). And the best work these brainiacs could find was tutoring rich kids! It was all very dizzying and took hold of my imagination in the kind of way that generates lots of 'what-if' story ideas. Add to this that Andrew and I had a desire to write a small, contemporary show — our previous musical had a larger cast and was set at the turn of the century — and The Tutor was born." The Tutor won the 2002 and 2003 Richard Rodgers Award in the categories of Staged Reading and Studio Production, and then scored a hat trick, winning the 2004 Rodgers Production Award.
The show was first developed at the O'Neill Music Theater Conference. A Rodgers-funded staged reading was presented by Premieres, Inc., and the Rodgers-supported studio production was staged by the York Theatre Company.
Maryrose Wood was the first recipient of The Georgia Bogardus Holof Lyricist Award. She is a New York University graduate and a member of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop. Currently, she and Andrew Gerle are collaborating on Still Life with Cigarette, an original jazz musical. They recently wrote Love Mom, a 10-minute movie musical starring Tonya Pinkins which was written, produced, and premiered in New York as part of Raw Impressions' 3rd annual RIPFEST. They also wrote The Gift, a full length holiday musical based on the short stories of O. Henry. Gerle's other work for the theatre includes Brighter Things, based on the stores of John Cheever and an adaptation of the classic Capra film, Meet John Doe, with lyricist Eddie Sugarman. His songs have been performed at the Public Theater, on the Lincoln Center Songbook series, and on Public Radio International. An accomplished concert pianist, he has appeared as soloist with the Baltimore Symphony, the National Symphony, and others, and has been heard on programs for National Public Radio and Television. His symphonic Broadway orchestrations have been performed by orchestras across the country, including the Boston Pops, the Utah Symphony, the Oregon Symphony, and the Baltimore Symphony. Gerle is a graduate of Yale University.
Director for last summer's Festival reading of The Tutor, David Bennett returns to further his collaboration with Wood and Gerle. His directing credits include Man of La Mancha at Village Theatre, My Fair Lady, The Most Happy Fella, Miss Saigon (all at The 5th Avenue), and Hay Fever (Peterborough Players).
He will be directing Once On This Island on Village Theatre's Mainstage this fall.
Tickets are $8-$10. For information, (425) 392-2202.