Serenbe Playhouse Plans Immersive Little Mermaid and Titanic Set in Water | Playbill

Regional News Serenbe Playhouse Plans Immersive Little Mermaid and Titanic Set in Water The doomed luxury liner will sink nightly as part of a season that sets each of its productions on and around bodies of water.
Brian Clowdus

The award-winning Serenbe Playhouse has announced its 9th season of immersive, site-specific productions, which will include The Little Mermaid, a world-premiere adaptation of Peter Pan, Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, and a large-scale production of the Tony-winning musical Titanic.

Located 30 Southwest of Atlanta, Georgia, Serenbe Playhouse operates within the the 40,000 acre community of Serenbe, a progressive new model for community living centered around organic farming and environmental sustainability located in Georgia’s Chattahoochee Hill Country. Homes are built to have little environmental impact, and more than 70 percent of Serenbe’s land is protected as green space.

Niki Badua BreeAnne Clowdus

Artistic Director Brian Clowdus incorporates the natural settings of the Serenbe community to create highly theatrical and immersive experiences. In addition to site-specific productions of Oklahoma and The Secret Garden, in recent years Clowdus has re-staged Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel within an actual carnival, and Grease at a Drive-In movie. His 2016 production of Miss Saigon, during which an actual Huey Helicopter landed nightly mid-show, made headlines—garnering national attention and critical acclaim.


Clowdus revealed the 2018 Serenbe season program during an exclusive live stream on Playbill’s Facebook page. Titled Voyage, the season offers a collection of classic plays and musicals, all of which will incorporate natural bodies of water located within Serenbe.

Watch the full season announcement in the video below.

“Every production in our season is actually set on the shore or in the water,” Clowdus explains. Large lakes throughout the Serenbe community will serve as staging grounds for the season. The centerpiece will be the Tony Award-winning Maury Yeston-Peter Stone musical Titanic, which will incorporate an actual sinking of the luxury liner each night.

Serenbe’s season opens with Disney’s The Little Mermaid, running March 28–April 22, 2018, under the direction of Ryan Oliveti. “We are taking a look at how to find the beauty in every day trash,” Clowdus says. “The entire set and all of the costumes for The Little Mermaid are created from found objects from the ocean.” A world-premiere adaptation of Peter Pan will follow May 31-August 26. Audiences will be seated on a dock constructed over the water for the performances that will use a floating Pirate Ship for a stage.

Clowdus will direct Titanic, which runs July 20–August 12. He is collaborating with scenic designer Adam Koch, who designed Carousel and Miss Saigon for Serenbe, to create the production that will incorporate an actual sinking of the luxury liner each night. “We have a concept that allows the entire production to rise from the water. It’s a huge undertaking, but the concept brings a human scale to it as well.”

The season closes with a modern take on Chekhov’s The Seagull running September 5-30. The play, which takes place on a sprawling Russian country estate (and features an outdoor staging of a play within a play), will be directed by Elizabeth Dinkova on the shores of another Serenbe lake.

The season also includes Serenbe’s annual stagings of The Sleepy Hollow Experience (September 26-November 4) and The Snow Queen (November 28–December 30).


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