Public Theater and Center Stage Will Join Forces for World Premiere of Marley, Musical About Bob Marley | Playbill

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News Public Theater and Center Stage Will Join Forces for World Premiere of Marley, Musical About Bob Marley Center Stage, the State Theater of Maryland, will produce the world premiere of Marley, the first original musical based on both the life and music of cultural icon Bob Marley.

Kwame Kwei-Armah
Kwame Kwei-Armah

With a book and direction by Center Stage artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah, Marley will be presented May 6-June 14, 2015, the final production of Center Stage's 2014-15 season.

A creative collaboration between the Baltimore theatre company and New York City’s The Public Theater, Public artistic director Oskar Eustis will serve as dramaturg for the production. Kwei-Armah directed two shows at The Public in 2013: the Mobile Shakespeare Lab production of Much Ado About Nothing and the Public Lab production of Dominique Morriseau’s Detroit ’67.

Through an agreement with Blue Mountain Music and Tuff Gong Pictures, Marley will feature music composed by Marley—including, among others, songs from "Exodus," "Kaya" and "Rastaman Vibration," which were written during the period in which the production is set.

Marley, according to press notes, "explores a pivotal period in the singer’s life. In 1976, Bob Marley finds himself the target of an assassination attempt. Shaken by this act of violence in the country he loves, Marley leaves for London where he spends nearly two years in self-imposed exile. Chronicling the events surrounding this earth-shaking moment, Marley tells the story of a man transformed into one of the 20th Century’s greatest musical icons."

“I came to truly appreciate Bob Marley during my own period of transformation as an artist,” Kwei-Armah said in a statement. “Writing this piece is my way of paying tribute to all that I’ve learned from Marley over the years, and it is very humbling to have the opportunity to bring his story to the stage…For this piece, I wanted to collaborate with the very best minds. Having Oskar on board will give me the best chance a writer can have at fulfilling the potential of this piece.” "Bob Marley was one of the great artists of the 20th Century, and a powerful and inspiring social leader,” Eustis added. “I am thrilled to be working again with an artist as talented as Kwame Kwei-Armah to bring his story to a new generation. Kwame has the intelligence, the talent, and the leadership to match Marley's."

The full cast and creative team for Marley will be announced at a later date.


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