Musical Workshop of Feeling Electric, About a Frazzled Family, Stars a Bat Boy and a Lois Lane in Seattle

News   Musical Workshop of Feeling Electric, About a Frazzled Family, Stars a Bat Boy and a Lois Lane in Seattle
Village Theatre, the Seattle area company devoted to musical revivals and the development of new musicals, concludes its 2004-05 "Village Originals" season with workshop presentations of Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey's Feeling Electric featuring Deven May and Amy Spanger.
Deven May
Deven May Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Spanger is a veteran of Broadway's Kiss Me, Kate (Bianca/Lois Lane) and Off-Broadway's tick, tick…BOOM!, and May starred as Bat Boy in New York and London.

Peter Askin directs the workshop (made possible by funds from the Jonathan Larson Award) June 21-23 at Village Theatre's First Stage Theatre in downtown Issaquah, WA.


Feeling Electric is billed as "a moving, edgy, darkly funny, and brutally honest look at one family's struggle with mental illness, at how families cope with pain, and at the way our society deals with and treats depression," according to production notes. "A woman (Amy Spanger) who has suffered from delusional depression since the death of her first baby (Benjamin Schrader) struggles to keep family life sane for her supportive husband (Jason Collins) and surly teenage daughter (Mary Faber). But when a hotshot young doctor (Deven May) recommends ECT (shock therapy) to cure the woman's ills, the entire family is set on a course that will change their lives forever. With tuneful, energetic rock music telling an adventurous and theatrical story, it’s an unforgettable look at families, grief, recovery, and treatments that might be worse than the disease they are meant to cure."

The cast features local actor Jason Collins, and Issaquah native Benjamin Schrader who performed the role of "Son" in the Village Originals reading of the show in 2002. Mary Faber appeared in Junie B. Jones Off-Broadway.

Because of the developmental nature of the Village Originals project, performances not open to review, but are attended by audiences.

Composer Kitt is a music director, arranger, composer, lyricist and conductor known for his Tom Kitt Band. Recently, he music directed Mario Cantone's one man show Laugh Whore on Broadway. Kitt is currently composing the score for the musical High Fidelity with book writer David Lindsay-Abaire and Amanda Green, daughter of Broadway lyricist Adolph Green.

Yorkey is in his fifth season as associate artistic director and leading the Village Originals program. A writer, director, and lyricist, his Village Mainstage credits include Making Tracks (lyrics/co-book), The Wedding Banquet (book/lyrics), To Kill a Mockingbird (direction), and The Secret Garden (direction). Yorkey is an honors graduate of Columbia University, where he was artistic director of the Varsity Show), Issaquah High School and Village Theatre's KIDSTAGE.

Feeling Electric began as a 10-minute musical Kitt and Yorkey developed in their first year at a BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop in Manhattan.

"We wanted to do an original piece (not an adaptation) and something that could be sung-through (with minimal dialogue) and in a rock feel," Yorkey said in production notes. "One evening I saw a television news report about shock therapy. My response to the report was the same response many people have had upon hearing about the topic of our show: 'Really? They still do that?' I did a little research and found that 'they' did indeed still do that, that in fact hundreds of thousands of patients receive ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) every year. The statistic that really grabbed me, and suggested that there might be a show here, was that over 90 percent of the doctors who prescribe ECT are male, while over 80 percent of the patients who receive it are female. There are all sorts of possible explanations for that statistic—for instance, depression patients in general are more likely to be female—but even explanations like that one seemed to point to a story worth telling. It was a story that we felt the world could use to have told. It was electric (in many ways) and so fit the rock aesthetic. Oh, and we wanted to write something funny, so it's a comedy. In its way."

Village Theatre was awarded a grant from the Jonathan Larson Foundation of New York, one of only eight such grants awarded last year, to produce a Village Originals workshop of Feeling Electric.

For more information, call (425) 392-2202 or visit


Village Theatre is a leading producer of musical theatre in the Pacific Northwest. According to the company, "What began in 1979 with the vision of a small group of dedicated theatre artists has grown into one of the region's best-attended resident theatres, with over 16,000 subscribers to the current season and 165,000 projected total attendance, performances on four stages in the Seattle area, youth education programs serving over 36,000 young people annually, and a nationally recognized program that has enabled the development of over 45 new musicals."

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