The 2011 summer season of New York Stage and Film at Vassar College will include a workshop production of Nightingale, a new musical from the Tony-winning Spring Awakening team of Duncan Sheik (music) and Stephen Sater (book and lyrics). This long-in-development show, described as a contemporary musical rendering of Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of a young emperor who finds his heart in the song of a bird and the soul of a servant girl, will get a concert reading at Vassar’s Powerhouse Theater July 8-10, directed by Moises Kaufman. No casting has been announced.
New York Stage and Film attracts more than 200 theater pros and 40 apprentices who come together for eight weeks to create new works for the stage. Main Stage offerings will include a fully staged production of Patricia Wettig’s F2M (June 29-July 10), starring Keira Keeley, Deirdre O’Connell, Phoebe Strole and Wetting’s husband, Ken Olin, directed by Maria Mileaf. The play centers on what happens when the famous parents of a college freshman show up at parents’ weekend uninvited.
The second Main Stage production will be Rob Handel’s A Maze (July 20-31), directed by Sam Buntrock. The play centers on a graphic novelist struggling to complete his 15,000 page comic book, a musician searching for inspiration for his next hit and a young girl striving to recreate her identity after years in captivity. No casting has been announced.
In addition to Nightingale, a workshop production of the musical February House is on tap July 14-16, featuring music and lyrics by Gabriel Kahane and a book by Seth Bockley. The fact-based show centers on editor George Davis, who transforms a dilapidated Brooklyn boardinghouse into a bohemian commune for the leading lights of 1940s New York, including novelist Carson McCullers, composer Benjamin Britten, poet W.H. Auden and Gypsy Rose Lee. Davis McCallum directs; no casting has been announced.
The final musical workshop of the summer will be Piece of My Heart (July 28-31), featuring music and lyrics by Bert Berns and a book by Daniel Goldfarb, Brett Burns and Cassandra Berns. The show is a celebration of songwriter Bert Berns, who died 1967 of a heart attack at age 37. In the preceding seven years, he wrote “Twist and Shout,” “Piece of My Heart,” “Hang On Sloopy,” “Cry To Me” and “Cry Baby,” and was the producer of “Under the Boardwalk,” “Brown Eyed Girl” and dozens of others. Leigh Silverman directs; no casting has been announced.
A pair of plays will be given semi-staged workshops: Margaret and Craig by David Solomon, starring Marin Ireland and Mario Cantone and directed by Sheryl Kaller (July 1-3); Handball by Seth Zvi Rosenfeld (July 15-17).