The Workshop Theater Company has announced Play-in-Progress production of Philip Hall's LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI, A Musical Play, musical directed by Fran Minarik and directed by SusannA Frazer. LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI will play a limited engagement at The Jewel Box Theater (312 West 36th Street, 4th Floor). Performances begin tonight, September 12 and continue through Sunday, September 22.
Hair-raising, hilarious, life-changing and violent are just some of the currents steamboat pilot Sam Clemens will navigate in this musical journey. Young Sam Clemens and his brother Henry step onto a Mississippi steamboat and aboard the chance of a lifetime. As a cub apprentice, his burning ambition propels him to become a steamboat pilot, but he soon discovers that learning the great, relentless river will be harder than he ever imagined. Now Sam must navigate the hair-raising, hilarious and dangerous currents, as mysterious as the Mississippi itself. This musical adaptation is based on Mark Twain's memoir.
"This is not only a coming of age tale, but it's also a loss of innocence tale," says writer Philip Hall who has been named a finalist for both the National New Play Network's SMITH prize and Humana Festival's HEIDEMAN Award, and whose work has been performed at the Kennedy Center. "In this case, what begins as a boyhood dream becomes more like a daunting task when it becomes real. But the piece is 'early Twain,' and there's a freshness and bounce to the prose, along with his trademark wit," reflects Hall, who ultimately felt it was the language that inspired him to adapt the book to stage.
The production stars Xander Chauncey*, Tyrone Davis Jr.*, Mark Hofmaier*, Andrew Hubacher*, David M. Mead*, Jeff Paul* and Zachary Sayle* (*Performing courtesy of Actors' Equity Association).
The production's artistic associate is Katie Braden, associate producer is Laura E. Johnston and assistant associate producer is Mark Hofmaier. It features scenic design by Sharon Thompson, costume design by Alexa Devin, and lighting design by David M. Mead. John McKinney is the sound designer and Sarah Lucier is the production stage manager.
LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI plays the following schedule:
Wednesday 9/12 - 7PM
Thursday 9/13 - 7PM
Friday 9/14 - 8PM
Saturday 9/15 - 3PM
Saturday 9/15 - 8PM
Monday 9/17 - 7PM
Thursday 9/20 - 7PM
Friday 9/21 - 8PM
Saturday 9/22 - 3PM
Saturday 9/22 - 8PM
Tickets are $15-18 and are now available online at www.workshoptheater.org. Tickets may also be purchased in-person at the theater ½ hour prior to performance. The show has a 90 minute runtime.
Philip Hall (Playwright)'s musicals have been produced throughout the country, from Washington's Kennedy Center to Silicon Valley's California Theatre Center. His faithful musical adaptation of THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW has been performed worldwide. He has also written non-musical plays such as ARION, LONE WOLVES and PRIVATE PROCEEDINGS. He has been a finalist for both the National New Play Network's SMITH prize and the Humana Festival's HEIDEMAN Award.
SusannA Frazer (Director) has recently been appointed the Artistic Director of The Morningside Players, a non-profit AEA theatre company in Morningside Heights, where she will direct Other People's Money in October, followed by Shaw's The Devil's Disciple. For TMP she has directed Mrs. Farnsworth, The Heiress, Arms and The Man, Cece and The Diary of Anais Nin among others. Other directing credits include: WorkShop - Life on the Mississippi, The Tip, August Eve, The Atlantic Theater Co. Conservatory and NYU Tisch BFA program - Ayckbourn's Mother Figure, two one acts of Thornton Wilder and Bus Riley's Back in Town. Fordham H.S of the Arts - adapted and directed No Child... Brooklyn College - As Bees In Honey Drown. An adjunct professor at BC, she taught acting to BA students, recently received her MFA in Theater and won the Joel Zwick Award for Outstanding Direction. As an actor Susanna has co-starred on Broadway in The Nerd, and worked extensively Off-B'way and regionally.