6 new musicals star in 11th annual Village Theatre festival

The 11th annual Village Originals Festival of New Musicals, an invitation-only event, is Aug. 12-14 at the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre.

'Take me America' started off as a staged reading at Village Theatre and will be part of the Mainstage season for 2011-12.

'Take me America' started off as a staged reading at Village Theatre and will be part of the Mainstage season for 2011-12.

It’s what sets Village Theatre apart – new work, not just the same old Rodgers and Hammerstein.

The 11th annual Village Originals Festival of New Musicals, an invitation-only event, is Aug. 12-14 at the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre.

Leading writers and producers from across the county will come together to be part of the new musical development process alongside Village Theatre’s team of creators, musicians, and actors.

The theater chooses its production staff and creative teams for the festival much like it chooses people for its Mainstage productions, said Steve Tomkins, artistic director.

“This is the stuff we live for,” he said, referring to his excitement for cultivating new productions.

Village Originals has been propelled into the limelight especially in the past few years, as two of its new musicals went on to achieve high honors.

In 2009, “Next To Normal” (developed in 2002 and 2005—formerly “Feeling Electric”) was awarded several Tony Awards and in 2010, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The following year, the Broadway smash—and Mainstage sales-record-breaker – “Million Dollar Quartet” (developed in 2006) won a Tony for acting.

The Festival of New Musicals also offers attendees a first look at potential upcoming Village Theatre Mainstage shows. “Anne of Green Gables,” “Iron Curtain,” and the upcoming 2011-12 season’s “Take Me America” and “It Shoulda Been You” started off as mere staged readings, later becoming full-scale productions.

This year, the festival features five new musicals in reading format — fully sung with script in hand. including: “The Giver,” “Sundays at Tiffany’s,” “Trails,” “Lizzie Borden,” and “Hello! My Baby.”

This portion is invite-only. But, for the first time, the festival will also boast a developmental production, the new musical “Cloaked.” Fully-realized with sets, costumes, lighting, and sound, “Cloaked” was last seen in its early stages at the festival last year.

Tickets can be purchased at the Village Theatre Box Office, 425-392-2202. For more information about becoming eligible to attend the festival and for a show schedule, go to villagetheatre.com.

 

 


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