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Monday, 06 June 2011 21:58

New York Theatre Workshop Announces That New Musical ONCE to Round Out 2011-12 Season

New York Theatre Workshop












New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) Artistic Director James C. Nicola and Managing Director William Russo have announced that the new musical Once, based on the Academy Award-winning film, rounds out the theatre’s 2011-2012 season.

Academy Award-winning songwriters Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová join with the creators of the acclaimed Black Watch—director John Tiffany and choreographer Steven Hoggett—and playwrightEnda Walsh to bring the hit independent film Once to the stage.

On the streets of Dublin, an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant are drawn together by their shared love of music. Over the course of one fateful week, an unexpected friendship and collaboration quickly evolves into a powerful but complicated love story, underscored by the emotionally charged music that has made Once an international sensation.

Once features music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová (who won the Academy Award in 2008 for Best Original Song for “Falling Slowly” from the film Once); book by Enda Walsh (Disco Pigs, The New Electric Ballroom, Penelope, Hunger, The Walworth Farce); musical staging by Steven Hoggett (Peter and the StarcatcherBlack Watch); and direction by John Tiffany (Black Watch).  The set and costume design are by Tony winner Bob Crowley (The Coast of Utopia); lighting design is by Tony winner Natasha Katz (Aida, The Coast of Utopia), and the music direction is by Martin Lowe (Mamma Mia!).

The independent Irish film Once was written and directed by John Carney, and starred Mr. Hansard and Ms. Irglová, who wrote the original music and lyrics for the film.  It was made for $150,000; shot in 17 days; and grossed $20M worldwide, becoming a critically acclaimed international smash.  In addition to the Oscar, Mr. Hansard and Ms. Irglová won the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Music, and the film’s soundtrack was nominated for two Grammy Awards.

Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová Glen Hansard, the frontman for the Irish alternative rock band The Frames, and Czech singer-songwriter Markéta Irglová received two Grammy nominations and won an Academy Award in 2008 for Best Original Song for “Falling Slowly,” the hit song from Once, the 2007 film in which they starred.  Following the film’s success, the soundtrack, written by Hansard and Irglová, went gold in February 2008 and the duo embarked on a sold out world tour.  Together (and with some members of The Frames, they released a follow up album, Strict Joy, under the name the Swell Season, in the fall of 2009.  They now tour with that group.

Enda Walsh is a playwright and screenwriter who shot to fame when he won both the George Devine Award and the Stewart Parker Award in 1997 with his play Disco Pigs.  In 2007 and 2008 Enda won Fringe First Awards at two consecutive Edinburgh Festivals for his plays The Walworth Farce and The New Electric Ballroom. The former led the Guardian to name him "one of the most dazzling wordsmiths of contemporary theatre." Since his initial success as a playwright, Enda has gone on to write for the screen. His 2008 biopic, Hunger, told the story of the final days of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands and won a host of awards, including the Camera d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and the Heartbeat Award at the Dinard International Film Festival. It was nominated for seven BIFAs (including Best Screenplay), six British Film and Television Awards (including Best Screenplay and Best Independent Film) and BAFTA's Outstanding British Film Award 2009. He has since adapted his stage play, Chatroom, for the big screen.

John Tiffany is Associate Director for the National Theatre of Scotland. He studied Classics and Theatre at the University of Glasgow. Work for the National Theatre of Scotland includes Peter Pan,The House of Bernarda AlbaTransform Caithness: Hunter, Be Near MeNobody Will Ever Forgive UsThe Bacchae, Black Watch, Elizabeth Gordon Quinn, Home: Glasgow. Other work includesJerusalem (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Las Chicas del Tres y Media Floppies (Granero Theatre, Mexico City and Edinburgh Festival Fringe), If Destroyed TrueMercury Fur and The Straits (Paines Plough), Gagarin Way, Abandonment, Among Unbroken Hearts, Perfect Days and Passing Places(Traverse, Edinburgh). For Black Watch, John has won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Director, as well as a Critics’ Circle Award for Best Director, a Scotsman Fringe First, a Herald Angel, and a Critics’ Award for Theatre in Scotland. John is taking a sabbatical from the National Theatre of Scotland to be a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University for the academic year 2010-11.

Steven Hoggett is co-founder and artistic director of Frantic Assembly. Recent credits include NYTW’s Peter and the Starcatcher, Broadway’s American IdiotOthello (TMA Award, Best Direction), Stockholm, pool (no water), Hymns and Dirty Wonderland. As associate director/movement, Steven worked on the multi award-winning production, Black Watch (National Theatre of Scotland), for which he received the 2009 Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreography. Other choreography and movement director credits include Dido Queen of Carthage, The Hothouseand Market Boy (Royal National Theatre); 365, The Bacchae (National Theatre of Scotland); The Wolves in the Wall (National Theatre of Scotland and Improbable). With Scott Graham, Steven wroteThe Frantic Assembly Book of Devising Theatre (Routledge).

Bob Crowley Recent Productions: Don Carlos (MET, NY) Love Never Dies (Adelphi, London). Bob Crowley has designed over twenty productions for the National Theatre, including most recently: The Habit of ArtThe Power of Yes, PhèdreEvery Good Boy Deserves Favour, Gethsemane, and Fram(which he also co-directed with Tony Harrison), The History Boys (Broadway - Tony Award), His Girl Friday and Mourning Becomes Electra, plus more than twenty-five productions for the RSC, including: Les Liaisons Dangereuses and The Plantagenets, for which he won an Olivier Award. For the Donmar Warehouse - Into the Woods and Orpheus Descending. Other credits include: Pavane andAnastasia (Royal Ballet), Don Carlos and La Traviata (ROH), The Magic Flute (ENO), The Cunning Little Vixen (Châtelet), The Coast of Utopia and Carousel (Lincoln Center Theater, New York – Tony Award for both), The Seagull (Public Theatre, New York), Paul Simon’s The CapemanThe Sweet Smell Of Success, Disney’s Aida (Broadway – Tony Award for the latter) and Tarzan for Disney which he also directed (Broadway, Germany & The Netherlands), Mary Poppins (Prince Edward Theatre, UK Tour & Broadway – Tony Award) and The Year of Magical Thinking (Broadway & NT). His film work includes: OthelloTales of Hollywood starring Jeremy Irons and Alec Guinness,Suddenly Last Summer directed by Richard Eyre and starring Maggie Smith for the BBC, plus Costume Design for the film of The Crucible starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Winona Ryder. Future Credits include: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (ROH). He is a recipient of the Royal Designer for Industry Award and in 2009 was presented with the Robert L. B. Tobin Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatrical Design at the TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards in New York.

Natasha Katz (Lighting Design)has designed extensively for the theatre, opera and dance.  Recent Broadway: Elf, Collected Stories, The Addams Family, The Little Mermaid, The Coast of Utopia/Salvage (Tony Award), Spelling Bee, Tarzan, Aida (Tony Award), Sweet Smell of Success, Twelfth Night and Beauty and the Beast.Other: Sister Act (London, Hamburg), Cyrano (Metropolitan Opera), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Royal Ballet, London), Carnival of the Animals (NYC Ballet), Don Quixote (ABT) and concert acts for Shirley MacLaine, Ann-Margret and Tommy Tune.

Martin Lowe (Music Director) As Musical Director/Supervisor: Nation, War Horse, Caroline or Change, Once In A Lifetime, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Jerry Springer The Opera, Mamma Mia!, The Full Monty, Is There Life After High School, Once On This Island, Cats, Pal Joey, Last Train To Berlin, Maddie, Definitely Doris, Closer Than Ever. Film (Musical Director; Vocal Coach and Conductor): Mamma Mia! The Film. Compositions: The Misanthrope, The Secret Rapture, The Blue Room, Lettice And Lovage, Hysteria, Into Exile, Dear Exile, The Ten Commandments & The Challenge. Recordings: Jerry Springer the Opera, Mamma Mia!, The Challenge, Which Witch, Moby Dick, Sisters, It’s Oh So Sissy. Martin has three projects in development: The Light Princess, a new musical by Tori Amos and Samuel Adamson; 57 Hours, written by Bryony Lavery with music by Grant Olding, directed by Phyllida Lloyd, and James Bourne’s Loserville.

The 2011-12 NYTW season also includes The Select—The Sun Also Rises (based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway; created by Elevator Repair Service; directed by John Collins); Food and Fadwa(written by Lameece Issaq and Jacob Kader; directed by Shana Gold; a co-production with Noor Theatre); and An Iliad (adapted from The Iliad by Homer; translated by Robert Fagles; written by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare; featuring Denis O’Hare and Stephen Spinella; directed by Lisa Peterson).

The Select—The Sun Also Rises

Based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway
Created by Elevator Repair Service
Directed by John Collins

Last fall Elevator Repair Service electrified audiences with the triumphant Gatz, based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and their interpretation of The Sound and the Fury received critical acclaim when it debuted at NYTW in 2008.  The 2011-2012 Season begins with ERS’s final chapter in their trilogy of classic American literature.  The Select—The Sun Also Rises presents a fresh take on Ernest Hemingway’s tale of young expatriates living in Europe after World War I as journalist Jake Barnes, his former lover Lady Brett Ashley, and the writer Robert Cohn cope with post-war realities and enter the “age of anxiety.”

Food and Fadwa

Written by Lameece Issaq and Jacob KaderDirected by Shana Gold

A Co-Production with NOOR Theatre

Meet Fadwa Faranesh, an unmarried, 30-something Palestinian woman living in Bethlehem in the politically volatile West Bank. Known for her delectable cooking and deep-seated sense of duty to her family and aging father, our kitchen maven insists on continuing the preparations for the wedding of her younger sister, despite constraints of daily life under occupation. Politics blend with family tensions to create a sometimes humorous and sometimes heartbreaking meal. Story by Lameece Issaq and Jacob Kader and directed by Shana Gold,  this new play melds the fight a Palestinian family wages to hold onto its traditional culture with its need to celebrate love, joy and hope. NYTW teams up with company-in-residence Noor Theatre to present Food and Fadwa.

An Iliad

By Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare

Adapted from Homer’s The Iliad

Translated by Robert FaglesDirected by Lisa Peterson

Creators Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare have crafted a sprawling yarn based on Homer’s epic poem.  An Iliad spins the familiar tale of gods and goddesses, undying love, and endless battles told through an original and immediate voice.  Tony Award-winning actors Denis O’Hare (AssassinsTake Me Out) and Stephen Spinella (Angels in America) alternate in this sweeping account of humanity’s unshakeable attraction to violence, destruction, and chaos. Has anything really changed since the Trojan War?

The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World, an NYTW co-production with Playwrights Horizons, is currently in previews and opens Tuesday, June 7, at Playwrights Horizons.

New York Theatre Workshop, now celebrating its 28th season, is a leading voice in the world of Off-Broadway and within the theatre community in New York and around the world. NYTW has emerged as a premiere incubator of important new theatre, honoring its mission to explore perspectives on our collective history and respond to the events and institutions that shape our lives. In addition, NYTW is known for its innovative adaptations of classic repertory. Each season, from its home in New York's East Village neighborhood, NYTW presents three to five new productions, over 80 readings, and numerous workshop productions, for over 45,000 audience members.  Over the past 28 years, NYTW has developed and produced over 100 new, fully staged works, including Jonathan Larson'sRent, Tony Kushner's Slavs! and Homebody/Kabul, Doug Wright's Quills, Claudia Shear's Blown Sideways Through Life and Dirty Blonde, Paul Rudnick's The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told andValhalla, and Caryl Churchill's Mad ForestFar Away, and A Number, and Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen’s Aftermath. The 2002 remounting of Martha Clarke's seminal work Vienna: Lusthaus and subsequent American tour was one of the longest-running productions in NYTW's history.  NYTW supports artists in all stages of their careers by maintaining a series of workshop programs including work-in-progress readings, summer residencies, and minority artist fellowships. In 1991, NYTW received an OBIE Award for Sustained Achievement and in 2000 was designated to be part of the Leading National Theatres Program by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

For more information about New York Theatre Workshop, please visit

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