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A musical workshop of "Stilyagi," by Lisa Kron and Peter Lerman, as part of the 2017 Powerhouse season. (Photo courtesy of Vassar & New York Stage and Film/ Buck Lewis)

New York Stage & Film Announces 2018 Powerhouse Season

New musicals slated for the summer season include one by Jason Robert Brown and Jonathan Marc Sherman, and one by Duncan Sheik, Steven Sater, and Jessie Nelson.

NEW YORK CITY: New York Stage & Film has announced its 2018 Powerhouse season, featuring fully staged productions, workshop presentations, and readings of new plays at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

The mainstage production lineup will include Radio Island (June 28-July 8), by Liza Birkenmeier, a thriller about an expert hostage negotiator juggling her love life, her mother’s rehab, and freeing an oil tanker from pirates. Jaki Bradley will direct.

Next up will be The Waves (July 19-29), adapted from the novel by Virginia Woolf, with book by Lisa Peterson, music and lyrics by David Bucknam, and additional music by Adam Gwon. The reimagined chamber musical, which premiered Off-Broadway 30 years ago, follows six childhood friends and their shifting relationships. Raul Esparza will serve as a creative consultant and Peterson will direct.

The season’s musical workshop presentations will begin with Alice By Heart (July 5-7), with book by Steven Sater and Jessie Nelson, music by Duncan Sheik, and lyrics by Sater. The musical follows Alice Spencer, a teenager who escapes the rubble of the London Blitz and ventures down the rabbit hole with her childhood friend. Nelson will direct.

The next musical workshop will be The Connector (July 13-15), with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown and book by Jonathan Marc Sherman, about an aspiring writer in 1995 striving to be part of a New York City magazine’s legacy while trying to separate facts from truth. Daisy Prince will direct.

The following workshop will be Little Orphan Danny (July 26-29), with books, lyrics, and music by Dan Finnerty, created by Finnerty and Sean Daniels, with additional music by Dan Lipton. The musical is a memoir about Finnerty’s childhood and the transformative event of meeting his birth mother. Daniels will direct.

The final musical workshop will be Cowboy Bob (July 27-29), by with music and lyrics by Jenna Phillips, book and lyrics by Molly Beach Murphy, and additional music by Alex Thrailkill, about a woman disguised as a man who robbed banks and evaded detection for more than a decade. Annie Tippe, who co-created the musical, will direct.

The “Inside Look” workshops will include Jaclyn Backhaus’s India Pale Ale (July 6-8), about a tight-knit Punjabi community in a small Wisconsin town gathering to celebrate an engagement of a traditional family’s only son, just as their daughter announces plans to move away and open a bar. Will Davis will direct.

The next “Inside Look” workshop will be Our Country (July 13-15), conceived by Annie Saunders and Becca Wolff, with additional devising by The Company. Inspired by Antigone, the autobiographical play explores Saunders’s childhood and is set in California’s marijuana country.

The annual Readings Festival (June 22-24 and July 20-22), will include On That Day in Amsterdam by Clarence Coo; The Pain of My Belligerence by Halley Feiffer; Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur; The North Star by Donja R. Love; The Purists by Dan McCabe; The Dizziness of Freedom by Stephen Nathan; Melissa R. and Dorothy Sue, book by Geoffrey Nauffts, music and lyrics by Jonatha Brooke; and additional projects to be announced.

The Powerhouse Theater Training Program will present Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure (July 13-15), adapted and directed by Andrew Willis-Woodard; Shakespeare’s As You Like It (July 20-22), adapted and directed by Doug Paulson; I’m Trying to Tell You Something Important (July 5, 12, 19, 26), composed and directed by Max Reuben; a workshop of Ovid’s Metamorphoses (July 22-23), adapted and directed by Elizabeth Hess; One Act Plays Festival (July 25); and Not, Not, Not, Not, Not Enough Oxygen (July 27) by Caryl Churchill.

Every summer, Vassar College and New York Stage and Film come together to present Powerhouse Theater, which allows nationally renowned artists to develop work at an eight-week residency on the Vassar campus.

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