‘WE FOXES’ to be performed at Village Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals

This year, We Foxes by Ryan Scott Oliver will be among the five new musicals brought to life at the Village Theatre‘s Festival of New Musicals.  Through the creative collaboration of nearly 75 artists and writers, performed and directed by the region’s foremost theatre professionals and guest artists from across the country, it will be the first Festival of New Musicals led by newly appointed Associate Artistic Director Brandon Ivie.

The Festival of New Musicals provides an essential platform for writers to incorporate a key component of Live Theatre: the audience. Each new musical will be rehearsed throughout the week, then presented to the Festival’s audience in staged reading format, fully sung using scripts. Though readings are not open to the general public, audiences are partly comprised of Village Originals members who are asked to participate in moderated talkbacks and provide written feedback and constructive critiques of the work, thereby becoming an integral part of the developmental process.

Village Theatre will welcome to Issaquah the critically-acclaimed musical theatre writers at the helm of the new works, who will convene from across the country for the three-day event. “I’m so pleased with the five shows we will have in residence for the festival,” says Festival Producer and Associate Artistic Director Brandon Ivie. “While all are at different stages in their development and vastly varied in style, these writers are all incredibly sophisticated with exceedingly unique voices, and are an inspiring testament to the future of the American Musical.”

RSO’s WE FOXES takes place in the small town of Havoc, Missouri at the onset of World War II.  A tough, unmannered orphan girl is plucked up from her vagabond life and adopted into a world of style and social graces by the beloved wife of the local sheriff. But in her new, unfamiliar life, she begins to discover that there are sinister secrets beneath the shiny veneer of this small town. Her adopted mother is not who she seems to be, and people are lurking in the dark. This gothic musical thriller follows one girl’s struggle to summon courage and survive at all costs.

Other new musicals of the festival include COSTS OF LIVING (Book, Music, and Lyrics by Timothy Huang), HOW TO BREAK (Book and Lyrics by Aaron Gaffers), STRING (Book by Sarah Hammond, Music and Lyrics by Adam Gwon), WRITING Kevin Taylor (Music and Lyrics by Will Van Dyke, Book and Lyrics by Josh Halloway).

WATCH: ‘WE FOXES’ and ‘ROPE’ in Concert

CHECK OUT TWO PLAYLISTS FOR RSO’S LATEST SHOWS!

‘WE FOXES’ and ‘ROPE’ represent two of three musicals in a trilogy of musical folk operas RSO is writing about American desperation during war-time.  

SELECTIONS FROM ‘WE FOXES’ IN CONCERT

‘WE FOXES’ is a southern Gothic thriller set in small-town Missouri, 1945.  It’s the story of Willa, a tough, unmannered, orphan girl, and her adoption by the crafty Sheriff’s wife, Vesta Quimby.  When Willa discovers the dark secrets beneath the floorboards, a war cuts them apart and Willa must fight to survive.  After all, Vesta Quimby is the most beloved and powerful woman in town – however she’s less humanitarian socialite than she is Machiavellian sociopath.  Can Willa discover her own salvation, deliver herself into courage, and sacrifice everything to escape Vesta?  It is a story of intense human struggle, deliverance, and the great salvation found only through oneself.  

SELECTIONS FROM ‘ROPE’ IN CONCERT

‘ROPE’ which takes place in 1864 New York, tells the story of Clay, a gang-thief who’s determined to find life’s fortune alone, and Szajda, a ghostly Jew with an Irish accent.  He is blind but possesses a remarkable power.  They become tied at the waist with a length of rope, stuck together on a desperate quest through a war-torn America.  Clinging together with this charmed rope that allows the blind Szajda to see through the eyes of Clay, the two young men must escape the vicious gangs of New York and forge a path into the heart of the Civil War where they find the greatest battle of all must be between themselves.

RSO JOINS DUNCAN SHEIK, MARC SHAIMAN AND MORE FOR SH-K-BOOM 16TH BIRTHDAY

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Ryan Scott Oliver joined other all-star artists in concert to celebrate Sh-K-Boom Records “Sweet 16” birthday on April 14 at Symphony Space’s “Leonard Nimony Thalia.”

The music portrayed at the event spanned the spectrum of contemporary and classic theater talent that has earned Sh-K-Boom records three Grammy Awards, twelve Grammy nominations, and a Drama Desk “Special Award.”  Among these was RSO’s ‘35 MM.’  

In ‘35MM,’ each photo creates a unique song, moments frozen in time; a glimmer of a life unfolding, a glimpse of something happening.  The multimedia musical explores a groundbreaking new concept in musical theatre through a series of vivid, imaginative songs.  This show was represented at the Sh-K-Boom Birthday Concert with Grace McLean singing “The Ballad of Sara Berry” with Ethan Carlson, Mary Claire Miskell, David Park, and John-Michael Lyles.  

“I’m proud of the range of music our label has preserved and highlighted over the last 16 years,” says Kurt Deutsch, founder and producer.  “We are thrilled to have all this musical creativity together on one stage with such stellar performing talent to celebrate the records that are treasured within the community and around the world.”

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‘WE FOXES’ WORKSHOPPED AT GOODSPEED IN JANUARY; CONCERT MARCH 14 AT 54 BELOW

The RSO show joins Goodspeed Opera House’s festival of new musicals IN JANUARY 2016, AND WILL BE PRESENTED IN CONCERT AT FEINSTEIN’S/54 BELOW ON MARCH 14.

RSO’s southern Gothic thriller We Foxes will receive a developmental workshop at Goodspeed Opera House as part of their festival of new musicals.  It will again be directed by Leigh Silverman (who presently directed during this summer’s reading at Playwrights Horizons), with dramaturgy by Matthew Schneider.  Rich Silverstein will music direct. The reading will be presented on the mainstage and open to the public.

The concert presentation on March 14 will be held at 7:00pm and 9:30pm.  Ticket buyers can receive 50% off tickets on Cyber Monday (Nov. 30).  CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS.

SLIDER for site-wfconcert

All casting will be announced soon.

We Foxes was commissioned by Broadway Across America and has been developed in readings or written in residence at the 5th Avenue in Seattle, Goodspeed, TheatreWorks, Silicon Valley’s Writer’s Retreat, Pace New Musicals (Pace University), CAP 21 and the Weston Playhouse.  The York Theatre Company presented the New York premiere Sept. 12, 2014, as part of its Developmental Reading Series, and the show is the winner of the New Horizons Award.

Goodspeed Opera House has produced over 250 musicals, including over 70 world premieres, and exported 20 productions to Broadway including Amazing Grace, 13, and Annie.  Goodspeed stands as the first regional theatre in America to earn two special Tony Awards, one in 1980 for outstanding contributions to the American musical and a second in 1995 for distinguished achievement for a regional theatre.

Goodspeed mounts both new and newly revived musicals each year on our main stage at the Opera House and on their second stage in Chester – a total of more than 400 performances during the April to December season attracting 130,000 patrons to the Connecticut River Valley. They stand at the forefront of producing and preserving the American musical, simultaneously reinventing the classics and inventing new ones. They attract well-known icons of the theatre world and foster emerging talent among composers, lyricists, and librettists. Each year, thousands of actors, directors, choreographers, and technicians aspire to come to Goodspeed to practice their craft. Among millions who know and love this art form – and those who appreciate its history and enduring appeal – Goodspeed is widely recognized as “The Home of the American Musical.”

See more at: http://www.goodspeed.org/about/all-about-goodspeed#sthash.M3x2XTMz.dpuf

The developmental cast will feature college students from the Hart School and Boston Conservatory.

Listen to the #FoxesTracks here

We Foxes is a southern Gothic thriller set in small-town Missouri, 1945. It’s the story of WILLA, a tough and unmannered orphan girl, and her adoption by the crafty Sheriff’s wife, VESTA QUIMBY. When Willa discovers the dark secrets beneath the floorboards, a war cuts them apart and Willa must fight to survive. After all, Vesta Quimby is the most beloved and powerful woman in town … Yet she’s less humanitarian socialite than she is Machiavellian sociopath… Can Willa discover her own salvation, deliver herself into courage, and sacrifice everything to escape Vesta? It is a story of intense human struggle, deliverance, and the great salvation found only through oneself.

Goodspeed Opera House

‘JASPER IN DEADLAND’ TO BE RECORDED THIS DECEMBER; CONCERT RELEASE FEB. 12

RSO’s ‘Jasper in Deadland’ (with a book by Hunter Foster) will be recorded on cast album and distributed by Sh-K-Boom Records, which also distributed his ’35mm: A Musical Exhibition.’

MATT DOYLE as the title character, with SYDNEY SHEPHERD, LOUIS HOBSON, ANDI ALHADEFF,  BRANDI MASSEY, BONNIE MILLIGAN, F. MICHAEL HAYNIE, JOHN-MICHAEL LYLES and KYLE CARTER will be featured as the nine-person cast on the album.

The album is produced by Oliver and John Clancy (orchestrator), with Nessie Nankivell, Kailey Marshall and Solomon Hoffman as associate producers.

The album is scheduled to be released on February 12, 2016, kicking off with a concert at 54 Below.  On Cyber Monday (Nov. 30), prospective buyers can get 50% off seats for the concert!  CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS.

Jasper in Deadland was developed as a commission for the Pasadena Musical Theatre Program in 2011. Prospect Theater Company presented the New York City premiere, which featured Matt Doyle (The Book of Mormon) as Jasper, Allison Scagliotti (Off-Broadway debut, SyFy’s “Warehouse 13”) as Gretchen and Ben Crawford (Big Fish, Shrek The Musical) as Mr. Lethe. Performances ran through April 13 at the West End Theatre in the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew. In May of 2015, Jasper in Deadland opened at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre. Said David Armstrong, 5th Avenue Theatre’s Executive Producer and Artistic Director, “Ryan Scott Oliver and Hunter Foster are two of the most exciting young talents working in the theatre today and The 5th has a very successful track record in providing emerging theatre artists like these with a large scale playing field in which they can thrill and amaze us. What Rent is to La Bohème, this show is to the Orpheus myths and legends.”

Jasper in Deadland tells the story of 16-year-old Jasper, who journeys into the Afterlife to rescue his recently deceased best friend, Agnes.  But in this version of the hereafter – known as “Deadland,”  a hybrid of mythology, religion, and superstition – the dead forget Life…  And so, too, will Jasper, if he can’t get past the seven circles of Deadland, fearsome Cerberus, heavenly Beatrix, mysterious Mr. Lethe, and ultimately himself.  Can Jasper bring his best friend back from the dead, or will he join the dead forever?

The cast album is made possible by a generous contribution from Kenny and Marleen Alhadeff. If you are interested in joining the producing team as an investor, contact RSO at [email protected]

Matt Doyle as Jasper, Prospect Theater Company
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