Running Aug. 8-22, TheatreWorks will offer readings of two plays and two musicals, as well as a full developmental production of a new musical based on the New York City blackout of 1965.
The first musical reading will be Great Wall, featuring a book by Kevin Merritt and a score by Kevin So. Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang serves as story consultant for the production that will star Francis Jue (Yellow Face). Kevin Merritt will direct the Aug. 8, 11 and 14 readings that have musical direction by Ethan Popp.
According to TheatreWorks, "Great Wall is a vibrant pop musical telling the story of young Victor Woo, an Asian American R&B artist struggling for acceptance and identity amid a tangle of American dreams. Originally named Victor Woo: The Average Asian American, the musical is loosely based on the experiences of lyricist and composer Kevin So as an R&B musician and recording artist."
Daniella Topol will direct a reading of Red Clay, featuring book and lyrics by Jeff Hughes and music by Scott Ethier. Performances will take place Aug. 14, 17 and 22.
"Set at the dawn of the tumultuous Civil Rights Movement, Red Clay is infused with jazz rhythms and gospel's soaring emotions. Starring TheatreWorks favorite C. Kelly Wright, this sweeping musical recounts Rosa Parks' historic bus ride and how it ignited tempers and passions across the South." Equivocation playwright Bill Cain will offer his new play How to Write a New Book for the Bible. Kent Nicholson will direct the Aug. 12 and 15 readings. "A caregiver's autobiography of family, faith, and the struggle of saying goodbye, How to Write a New Book for the Bible speaks to the heart about the essence of family."
Meredith McDonough will stage a reading of Anna Ziegler's Variations On a Theme Aug. 15, 19 and 21. "Variations On a Theme tells a moving story of love found, lost, repaired, repressed, rekindled, and rediscovered. When April and Josh, a couple who married young, go their separate ways, they each embark on a transformative journey, taking audiences on an intimate and insightful exploration of the mysteries of love."
A fully-staged developmental production of the musical Fly By Night will be presented Aug. 10, 13, 14, 18, 21 and 22. Conceived by playwright Kim Rosenstock, the musical is co-authored by Rosenstock, filmmaker Michael Mitnick and musician Will Connelly. Described as an indie-rock musical about the New York City blackout of 1965, the musical centers on "a hapless sandwich maker who must call upon a well of courage."
TheatreWorks will also offer Unplugged, Songs in the Key of New a concert featuring new songs for theatre Aug. 20 at 8 PM. An artists panel with the theatre-makers involved in the 2010 New Works Festival will take place Aug. 15 at 7:30 PM.
All Festival performances will be held at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto. For tickets phone (650) 463-1960 or visit TheatreWorks.
The Lucie Stern Theatre is located at 1305 Middlefield Road in Palo Alto, CA.