Dances with Wolves: a new B'way musical?

Producer Matt Murphy has acquired the stage rights to Michael Blake's 1986 best-selling novel Dances with Wolves. Murphy intends to adapt the property into a dramatic musical for the Broadway stage.

Blake's novel tells the story of Lieutenant John Dunbar. Having been sent to a remote frontier outpost in the wilderness of the Dakota territory during the American Civil War, Dunbar encounters, and is eventually accepted into, the local Sioux tribe. As time passes, he falls in love with a white woman who was raised by the Sioux. With the U.S. army advancing ever deeper into the frontier, Lieutenant John Dunbar must make a decision about his future that will not only affect him, but the lives of the Sioux tribe who know him only as Dances with Wolves.

ke's story achieved popularity in 1990 with his screen adaptation of his novel. Directed by and starring Kevin Costner, the film was a worldwide blockbuster, winning seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for Blake.

"Dances with Wolves will be a uniquely spectacular and dramatic new musical," says Murphy. "I envision a score that is inspired by Appalachian, folk, Civil War era, and Native American music, coupled with a production design that celebrates the spirit and ceremony of Native American culture amidst the awe-inspiring landscape of the American frontier. I am seeking a creative team who can make the epic story of Dances with Wolves sing for a new medium and a new generation of audiences."

Matt Murphy is currently on the producing team of the new Broadway musical 'Memphis' at the Shubert Theatre. He was a producer of the Tony-nominated Broadway production of 'Thurgood' starring Laurence Fishburne, and Michael Jacobs' 'Impressionism' starring Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons.

Murphy made his New York producing debut with the hit musical 'Altar Boyz.' He is currently readying two new productions for youth theatre tours beginning in May, 2010: a musical adaptation of the beloved 'Berenstain Bears' books and an original musical for today's texting, blogging, and Facebooking generation called 'Virtually Me!'

Originally published on

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