Savion Glover & more sign on to direct Encores! Off-Center productions
Kate Whoriskey, Savion Glover & Ken Rus Schmoll join Encores! Off-Center 2018 creative teams.
Encores! Off-Center Co-Artistic Directors Anne Kauffman and Jeanine Tesori have announced further details for the Encores! Off-Center 2018 season, naming all three directors to helm this year's productions and make their respective City Center directorial debuts.
Drama Desk Award nominee Kate Whoriskey is set to direct Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown's first musical Songs for a New World, running from June 27 to 30 on New York City Center's Mainstage, which will also feature music direction by Thomas Murray. Ms. Whoriskey's Broadway credits include Sweat and The Miracle Worker, and she earned Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Award nominations for Ruined in 2009. Other off-Broadway credits include Cardinal, Aubergine, and Tales from Red Vienna, among others.
Songs for a New World was created by Jason Robert Brown, in collaboration with Daisy Prince, in 1995 as "a collection of powerful songs examining life, love, and the choices ordinary people make when faced with extraordinary moments. From the deck of a 1492 Spanish sailing ship to the ledge of a Fifth Avenue high-rise, each character faces the new world which follows the unique challenge they encounter."
Lucille Lortel Award nominee Ken Rus Schmoll will direct the special two-night-only tribute to the late composer and Off-Center artistic director Michael Friedman, whose life was tragically cut short in the summer of 2017. Gone Missing (which features a score by Mr. Friedman) will be staged on July 11 and 12, 2018, and will also feature music direction by Chris Fenwick. Mr. Schmoll earned a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for his production of The Invisible Hand in 2015 and his recent off-Broadway credits include Antlia Pneumatica and Iowa at Playwrights Horizons.
Gone Missing emerged in 2003, as New York City theater company The Civilians interviewed real people about the physical objects they’d lost in real life—keys, a sapphire ring, a Gucci pump. The resulting wry and whimsical docu-musical was written and directed by Steven Cosson (featuring a fresh and breezy score by Michael Friedman) and presents a very personal account of how we deal with loss in our lives.
Finally, Tony Award winner Savion Glover is set to direct and choreograph Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope, which will run from July 25 to 28, 2018, and once again feature music direction by Chris Fenwick. Mr. Glover won a "Best Choreography" Tony Award in 1996 for Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk and also earned Tony nominations for Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed in 2016 for "Best Choreography," for Black and Blue in 1989 for "Best Featured Actor in a Musical," and another for Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk in 1996 for "Best Actor in a Musical". Other Broadway credits include Jelly's Last Jam and The Tap Dance Kid.
Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope is a 1971 work, originally conceived and directed by Vinnette Carroll, featuring music and lyrics by Micki Grant. The pair had frequently collaborated, staging a total of nine musicals for Urban Arts Corps. This radical offering is described as "a celebration of African-American culture and community, presenting the issues of race politics in America through a lively mix of song and dance with a score that includes gospel, jazz, soul, calypso and rock." Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope won a Grammy Award for "Best Score from an Original Cast Show Album" and earned four Tony Award nominations, including "Best Musical".
Founded in 2013, Encores! Off-Center's mission is to present Off-Broadway musicals that pushed creative boundaries when they were originally produced. Filtered through the lens of today’s artists, these shows are presented not as historical documents but as living, vital revivals that speak to audiences both old and new.