October Sky Takes Flight! First Shots of World Premiere Musical Based on the 1999 Jake Gyllenhaal Film
Based on the film, as well as the book "Rocket Boys" by Homer H. Hickam, Jr., October Sky is written by Aaron Thielen, with music and lyrics by Michael Mahler. It follows a teenage boy living in a small, coal-mining town and his determination to not end up like the generations before him. With his friends, they build homemade rockets and release them, along with their dreams and aspirations, into the sky. Jeff Award winner Rachel Rockwell directs and choreographs a cast that is led by Nate Lewellyn as Homer Hickam (Godspell at The Marriott Theatre) along with Johanna McKenzie Miller as Miss Riley (The Marriott Theatre’s On the Town), Alex Weisman as Quentin (The History Boys at TimeLine Theatre), Ben Barker as O’Dell (Les Misérables at Paramount Theatre) and Patrick Rooney as Roy Lee (Les Misérables at Paramount Theatre).
The cast also features Jameson Cooper, Neil Friedman, Terry Hamilton, Derek Hasenstab, David Lively, Liam Quealy, Caleb Baze, Dara Cameron, J Michael Finley, Jess Grider, Joan Hess, James Earl Jones II, Patrick Lane, Eliza Palasz, Jonny Stein, Betsy Stewart and Elizabeth Telford.
"This is a story set in a town that lives and dies by the coal mine, with real struggles and real triumphs,” Rockwell said in an earlier press statement. “These boys were intrigued by something that most people in America had no experience with and somewhat feared – rockets going into space. We want to make audiences feel like they are part of this community as they experience this volatile time in small town America. It is a really inspirational story.”
The production features set design by Tom Ryan, costume design by Theresa Ham, lighting design by Jesse Klug, sound design by Bob Gilmartin, properties design by Mealah Heidenreich, dialect coaching by Jill Walmsley Zager, musical supervision and orchestra conducted by Patti Garwood and orchestrations by David Siegel.