Powerhouse Season Will Feature New Musicals by Jason Robert Brown, Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater

Regional News   Powerhouse Season Will Feature New Musicals by Jason Robert Brown, Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater
The summer season will also include new plays by Liza Birkenmeier, Jaclyn Backhaus, and more.
Jason Robert Brown, Duncan Sheik, and Steven Sater

A host of new plays and musicals will be part of the 2018 Powerhouse Season. Presented annually by Vassar and New York Stage and Film, the upcoming season will be offered June 22–July 29 on the Vassar College campus.

The mainstage season in the Powerhouse Theater will kick off June 28 with Liza Birkenmeier’s Radio Island. Directed by Jaki Bradley, the drama about a hostage negotiator facing her biggest challenges will continue through July 8.

The Waves, which is adapted from the novel by Virginia Woolf, will be presented July 19–29. Six childhood friends and their shifting relationships come to life in the new musical, which has a book by Lisa Peterson, music and lyrics by David Bucknam, and additional music by Adam Gwon. Lisa Peterson will direct the production; the creative consultant is Tony nominee Raúl Esparza.

Four new musicals—Alice by Heart, The Connector, Little Orphan Danny, and Cowboy Bob—will be workshopped in the Martel and Shiva theatres.


Alice by Heart, featuring a book by Steven Sater with Jessie Nelson, music by Duncan Sheik, and lyrics by Sater, will be presented July 5–7 in the Martel. Directed by Jessie Nelson, the new musical is set during the London Blitz, as Alice Spencer’s budding teen life is turned upside down and she escapes with her childhood friend Alfred into their most cherished book. The show is scheduled to arrive Off-Broadway at MCC Theater in January 2019.

Jason Robert Brown's The Connector, which has a book by Jonathan Marc Sherman, will be directed by Daisy Prince July 13–15 in the Martel. Set in 1995 New York City, the new musical concerns writer Ethan Dobson, who has his first article published by The Connector, a magazine with a storied history. As Ethan strives to be part of the magazine’s legacy, he navigates editors with god complexes, fact checkers with vendettas, proofreaders, lawyers, and the challenges of his own history.

Little Orphan Danny, created by Dan Finnerty and Sean Daniels, will play the Shiva July 26–29. Daniels directs this candid musical memoir of The Dan Band's frontman Finnerty, who provided book, lyrics, and music with additional music by Dan Lipton.

Cowboy Bob, about bank robber Peggy, who evaded detection for more than a decade disguised as a man, was created by Molly Beach Murphy, Jeanna Phillips, and Annie Tippe. Featuring music and lyrics by Phillips, book and additional lyrics by Murphy, and additional music by Alex Thrailkill, performances are scheduled for July 27–29 in the Martel. Tippe directs.

The season will also include workshops of two new plays: Jaclyn Backhaus' India Pale Ale, directed by Will Davis (July 6–8), and Our Country, conceived by Annie Saunders and Becca Wolff with direction and dramaturgy by Wolff and additional dramaturgy and original writing by Annie Saunders (July 13–15).

Click here for tickets and information about additional readings.

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