Based on James Agee's Pulitzer Prize-winning autobiographical novel A Death in the Family and, in part, on Tad Mosel's play All The Way Home, Knoxville will feature lyrics by Ahrens, music by Flaherty, and an adaptation by Galati, who will also direct.
Asolo Rep will also host a workshop in June 2019. Casting and production dates will be announced later.
Set in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1915, the musical concerns Jay Follett and his son Rufus. When an unexpected turn of events leaves Rufus’ family spinning, he and his mother Mary embark on a journey through the mysteries of life and death, faith, and doubt, in order to come to terms with what they have lost and what they have found.
"Knoxville is a love story, inspired by James Agee’s perfectly crafted prose, animated by Lynn Ahren’s vivid poetry and borne aloft by Stephen Flaherty’s gorgeous new music,” said Galati in a statement. “Like James Joyce, James Agee created ‘a portrait of the artist as a young man’ in his novel. But in this story the artist is an American and his story goes to the core of the American soul, that’s where faith abides as well as doubt.”
“It is an honor to be a part of the creation of this tremendous new musical with this extraordinary, award-winning team, who are some of the brightest stars of the American theatre,” added Asolo Rep Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards. “The brilliant Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, and Frank Galati have an inspiring, poignant vision for this iconic American story, and we are thrilled to have their masterpiece brought to life on stage at Asolo Rep.”