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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)

Vassar and NYSAF Announce 35th Powerhouse Season

On the slate are new works from Harrison David Rivers and Beth Henley.

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y.: Vassar and New York Stage and Film have announced the programming lineup for the upcoming Powerhouse season, set to take place at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie this summer. The season includes two fully staged productions, three musical workshop presentations, two play workshop presentations, and six staged readings.

The first mainstage production will be Harrison David Rivers‘s the bandaged place (June 27-July 7), directed by David Mendizábal. In the play, a man attempts to free himself from abuses of his past when a former lover resurfaces in his life.

The second mainstage production will be Lightning (or The Unbuttoning) (July 18-28)
by Beth Henley. Set in a cabin in the mountains, the play follows a woman visited by a mystical traveling salesman. Mark Brokaw will direct.

The first presentation in the musical workshop series will be Annie Salem: An American Tale (July 5-7), adapted from the novel by Mac Wellman. With book and direction by Rachel Chavkin, music by Heather Christian, and lyrics by Heather Christian and Rachel Chavkin, the new musical is a surrealist coming-of-age story that travels through time and space to make sense of the forces lurking in the American woods.

The next musical workshop will be The Elementary Spacetime Show (July 12-14), featuring music and lyrics by César Alvarez and book by César Alvarez with Emily Orling. The musical follows a young girl who, in the aftermath of a suicide attempt, is trapped in a cosmic vaudevillian game show she must win to enter the void of death. Sarah Benson will direct.

The final musical workshop offering will be Goddess (July 26-28), A story of love, destiny, the spirit world, and the power of passion, inspired by the ancient myth of Marimba, the goddess of music. The musical, conceived by Saheem Ali, includes music and lyrics by Michael Thurber, book by Jocelyn Bioh, and additional lyrics by Mkhululi Z. Mabija. Ali will also direct.

The first play workshop presentation will be …and the horse you rode in on (June 20-22) by Zach Helm, chronicling a young hacktivist who attempts to bring down the entire U.S. judiciary system. Kate Whoriskey will direct.

The second play workshop presentation will be Emily Feldman’s The Best We Could (a family tragedy) (July 25-27), directed by Daniel Aukin. In the play, a father and daughter take a road trip that becomes a theatrical journey across more than just state lines.

The season also includes free public staged readings of works in progress such as The Notebook, based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, with music and lyrics by Ingrid Michaelson and book by Bekah Brunstetter; The Excavation of Mary Anning by Ian August and directed by Sammi Cannold; Tuvalu or, The Saddest Song by Antoinette Nwandu and directed by Danya Taymor; The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin by Jessica Huang; Delusion by Proxy by Brooke Adams and directed by Ethan Silverman; and Sanctuary City by Martyna Majok.

Powerhouse Theater is a collaboration between Vassar College and New York Stage and Film dedicated to both emerging and established artists in the development and production of new works for theatre and film.

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