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Rebeck, Nauffts to workshop two new musicals at Texas State

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
Office of Media Relations
October 9, 2017

Award winning writers Theresa Rebeck and Geoffrey Nauffts will both workshop new musicals at Texas State University as part of the Harrison/Bowman New Works Commission.

The first workshop presentation, Two Orphans, will be at 3 p.m. October 28 at the Performing Arts Center Recital Hall. The second workshop presentation, Switched, will be at 3 p.m. January 27 at a location to be determined. Rehearsals and a final presentation will be open to the public at no charge.

Rebeck will team up with composer Kim D. Sherman, lyricist John Sheehy and musical director Kimberly Grigsby on The Two Orphans, a musical adapted from a 19th century melodrama of the same name. Rebeck will write the book and co-write the lyrics with Sheehy, and Sherman will write the music.

Switched is a new musical with book by Geoffrey Nauffts and music and lyrics by Jonatha Brooke. The workshop will be directed by Tony-nominated director Sheryl Kaller.

“I’m thrilled to have these two exceptional creative teams come to Texas State to work on their new musical with our students. What an incredible opportunity for them to learn from the best,” said Kaitlin Hopkins, head of the musical theatre program at Texas State.

Theresa Rebeck
Theresa Rebeck

Rebeck is a widely-produced playwright throughout the United States and abroad. In television, Rebeck has written for Dream On, Brooklyn Bridge, L.A. Law, American Dreamer, Maximum Bob, First Wave and Third Watch. She was also the creator of the NBC drama, Smash. Her produced feature films include Harriet the Spy, Gossip and the independent features Sunday on the Rocks and Seducing Charlie Barker, an adaptation of her play, The Scene. She is the author of three novels, Three Girls and Their Brother, Twelve Rooms With A View and I’m Glad About You. Rebeck is originally from Cincinnati and holds an MFA in playwriting and a Ph.D. in Victorian melodrama, both from Brandeis University.

Sheehy is the author of six full-length plays and numerous one-act plays. His play, Gave Her The Eye, was produced at Actors Theater of Louisville, the Samuel Beckett Theatre in New York City and Theater Geo in Hollywood, among others. Other performances of his work include The Strike (Playwrights Platform, Boston), Barely Dressed (Alice's Fourth Floor, New York) and Stopping at Union (City Theatre, Miami).

Sherman is a composer for the concert stage, theater, film and opera. Summer, 1976, a song cycle for lyric baritone and string quartet, was premiered at the Opera Center in New York City in 2016. Song of Songs, for strings, harp and soprano, was premiered by San José Chamber Orchestra and soprano Allison Charney. Graveside, an a cappella choral work, was recorded by Musica Sacra and has been performed throughout the United States and Europe. On Broadway, she wrote incidental music for I Hate Hamlet. She has received residencies at the MacDowell Colony and the Banff Centre.

As a musical director, Grigsby’s extensive Broadway credits include Amelie, Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark, Spring Awakening and You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.

Geoffrey Nauffts
Geoffrey Nauffts

Nauffts has worked as an actor on and off Broadway, regionally, and extensively in film and television. His critically-acclaimed play Next Fall received the Outer Critics Circle’s John Gassner Award for Best New American Play in 2010, and was nominated for a Drama League, Drama Desk and Tony Award. He’s directed plays by Kenneth Lonergan, Frank Pugliese, Theresa Rebeck and Suzan-Lori Parks, as well as Naked Angels’ critically acclaimed production of Steven Belber’s Tape in New York, Los Angeles and London. As a writer, his credits include: Baby Steps, an award-winning short film starring Kathy Bates; Jennifer, a CBS movie of the week; two seasons on ABC’s Brothers and Sisters; the Emmy-nominated mini-series Political Animals; and three seasons on ABC’s Nashville. As a lyricist, he has collaborated with Elton John on a score for Showstopper, a movie musical he co-wrote for Ben Stiller’s company, Red Hour.

Brooke has 10 solo releases to her credit (and two from her duo, The Story). Her most recent endeavor was writing and performing the one-woman musical My Mother Has 4 Noses. Another notable project was 2008’s The Works, a collection of songs written after being invited into Woody Guthrie’s archives by his daughter. Brooke combed through previously unseen Guthrie lyrics, then edited, pared and set them to her own new music. Brooke currently lives in Minneapolis, where she is working on three new musicals.

Kaller received a Tony nomination for best director for the Broadway production of Next Fall by Nauffts. She also directed Terence McNally’s Tony-nominated play Mothers and Sons with Tyne Daly on Broadway. Other recent projects include: Our Town at the Pasadena Playhouse; Sacred Valley by Josh Radnor; Frozen for Disney Creative/Disney Cruise Lines; Do This by Karen Siff Exhorn; The White Chip by Sean Daniels; and Choice by Winnie Holzman.

For additional information, please contact Kaitlin Hopkins at the Texas State Department of Theatre and Dance at (512) 245-6841 or kh40@txstate.edu.

About Texas State University

Founded in 1899, Texas State University is among the largest universities in Texas with an enrollment of 38,694 students on campuses in San Marcos and Round Rock. Texas State’s 181,000-plus alumni are a powerful force in serving the economic workforce needs of Texas and throughout the world. Designated an Emerging Research University by the State of Texas, Texas State is classified under “Doctoral Universities: Higher Research Activity,” the second-highest designation for research institutions under the Carnegie classification system.

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