Broadway-bound How to Dance in Ohio has released a new music video prior to the musical's Main Stem debut this fall.
How to Dance in Ohio, which is based on Alexandra Shiva's 2015 HBO documentary of the same name, explores the inner lives of seven of Dr. Emilio Amigo's students as they prepare to enter the adult world. After a series of fits and starts, "Building Momentum" sees Drew (played by Liam Pearce) decide that they should throw a formal dance for themselves, and lay the groundwork to set his plan into motion. Check out the video for "Building Momentum," which also showcases the shows journey to Broadway, above.
Also making their Broadway debuts will be the show's writers, composer Jacob Yandura and book writer and lyricist Rebekah Greer Melocik. Following the challenges faced by a group of autistic young adults at a counseling center in Ohio, and the support of clinical psychologist Dr. Emilio Amigo, the center arranges a spring formal dance and encourages them as they encounter love, fear, stress, excitement, and hope, along the path to human connection.
The work made its world premiere at Syracuse Stage in 2022. Much of that production's cast, which includes autistic actors in the seven principal roles, will reprise their performances for the upcoming Broadway run, including Desmond Edwards as Remy, Amelia Fei as Caroline, Madison Kopec as Marideth, Pearce as Drew, Imani Russell as Mel, Conor Tague as Tommy, and Ashley Wool as Jessica. All seven make their Broadway debuts with the musical.
The cast will also include Haven Burton (Shrek) as Terry, Darlesia Cearcy (Shuffle Along...) as Johanna, Carlos L Encinias (Les Misérables), Nick Gaswirth (The Great Comet), Melina Kalomas, and Martín Solá. Additional casting is to be announced.
The creative team from the world premiere run is continuing with the show to the Main Stem, including choreographer Mayte Natalio, music director Lily Ling, scenic designer Robert Brill, costume designer Sarafina Bush, lighting designer Bradley King, and sound designer Connor Wang. Orchestrations will be by Bruce Coughlin, and Scott Rowen will serve as production stage manager. Casting is by Benton Whitley and Micah Johnson-Levy of Whitley Theatrical.
To ensure authentic autistic representation on stage, the production will also be working with an accessibility team, including Autistic Creative Consultant Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt, Director of Community Engagement Becky Leifman, associate producer Jeremy Wein, and script consultant Nicole D'Angelo.
Producers are P3 Production's Ben Holtzman, Sammy Lopez, and Fiona Howe Rudin; and Level Forward. The musical was originally developed with the late Harold Prince and is dedicated to his work on the project.