The world premiere of the new musical Little Dancer, featuring book and lyrics by Tony winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, will be produced by the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. next year. Directed by Tony winner Susan Stroman, Little Dancer will play the Eisenhower Theater in October 2014. No casting has been announced at this time.
Little Dancer is set in the harsh backstage world of the Paris Opera Ballet, the tuner is inspired by the young ballerina who posed for Edgar Degas and became, inadvertently, the most famous dancer in the world. Torn by her family’s poverty, her debt to the artist and the lure of wealthy men, Marie struggles to keep her place in the ballet corps—a girl on the verge of womanhood, caught between the conflicting demands of life and art.
Little Dancer was chosen by Kennedy Center president Michael Kaiser as his last production before stepping down from his longtime post two months after the show’s premiere. "To leave the center on a new work is very exciting," Kaiser said in a statement. "It is also nice to bring back Lynn and Stephen since Ragtime was so important to us."
Ahrens and Flaherty's musical Ragtime, with a book by Terrence McNally and directed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge, received a major revival at the Kennedy Center in 2009 and transferred to Broadway later that year. Ragtime received six Tony Award nominations, including Best Revival of a Musical.