Cutting-Edge Musical To Open Mainstage Season
Amanda Dehnert’s “The Verona Project” a modern fable that rocksOctober 1, 2012 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON, Ill. --- The new musical “The Verona Project” -- an electric hybrid of theatre and live concert infused with original indie-folk-rock music -- will kick off the 2012-13 Mainstage season in mid-October at the Theatre and Interpretation Center (TIC) at Northwestern University.
Written, directed and composed by award-winning Northwestern faculty member Amanda Dehnert, “The Verona Project” is a modern fable inspired by Shakespeare’s “The Two Gentlemen of Verona.” Seen through the eyes of a group of young musicians, it explores the journeys we all take and the people we eventually become.
Presented by the American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) in association with TIC, “The Verona Project” will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19; 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20; 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25; 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26; 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27; 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1; 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2; 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3; and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, at the Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, on the University’s Evanston campus.
Dehnert’s musical had its world premiere at the California Shakespeare Theater (Cal Shakes) in July 2011. Robert Hurwitt of the “San Francisco Chronicle” hailed it as “tuneful, buoyant” and a “touching and quite funny new musical comedy.” Georgia Rowe of “The Examiner” praised the show’s fresh new take on a Shakespeare classic as a “smart hybrid: a new look at Shakespeare through a distinctly 21st-century prism.”
Dehnert has continued developing the show at AMTP and the Northwestern fall 2012 Mainstage show will feature new songs and production elements created since its original production.
“The show is a modern tale infused with the youthful spirit of self-expression and discovery,” Dehnert says. “It’s a fable, it’s a concert, it’s a love story, but not just a love story for the young. We’re just trying to make something new, wonderful and beautiful. It is a thrill and a wild ride.”
Leading the cast is Jeff Award-nominated Chicago actor Chance Bone, whose recent credits include the role of Rode in Tracy Letts’ “Three Sisters” (Steppenwolf); “Cooperstown” (Jeff Award Nomination, Theatre Seven); “A Separate Peace” (Steppenwolf); and the world premiere of “The Last Act of Lilka Kadison” (Lookingglass). The cast includes eight Northwestern undergraduate students who will all double as musicians in the production, playing everything from electric guitar to rock violin.
Dehnert’s “Verona” collaborators include two-time Tony Award-nominated set designer Daniel Ostling (2012 Tony Award, scenic design, “Clybourne Park”), sound designer and music producer Josh Horvath, costume designer and Northwestern alumna Melissa Torchia, lighting designer and Northwestern alumnus William C. Kirkham and animation and video designer Blake Young. Ostling, Horvath and Torchia designed the original 2011 production of “The Verona Project” at California Shakespeare Theater.
For full cast and creative team bios for “The Verona Project,” visit www.VeronaNU.com.
Single tickets are $5 to $30; tickets for groups of eight or more range from $5 to $27 each; $5 tickets are available exclusively to Northwestern students with valid IDs on advance ticket purchases only. Tickets may be purchased through the TIC Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or www.VeronaNU.com.
“The Verona Project” is made possible, in part, by the generous support of the Alumnae of Northwestern, Broadway in Chicago, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's National Fund For New Musicals.
CONSTRUCTION ALERT: A three-year construction project underway on the southeast end of the Northwestern University Evanston campus has closed the Arts Circle Drive to traffic. Free parking for evening and weekend events remains available, but the project will impact handicap parking and patrons requiring special access to Evanston campus theaters. Visit www.tic.northwestern.edu/construction to learn more.