Prospect Theater Company will present its inaugural "Prototype Production" with public performances of DEATH FOR FIVE VOICES, an original musical drama inspired by true events in the life of infamous Renaissance composer - and murderer - Carlo Gesualdo.
The announcement was made today by Prospect Theater Company Producing Artistic Director Cara Reichel and Managing Director Melissa Huber.
A prototype is an early model built to test a concept or process, which can be replicated or learned from. The goal of Prospect's new Prototype Production initiative is to allow artists the opportunity to develop new musicals through a full rehearsal process, with feedback from audiences through a brief run of public performances. Prospect provides time and space for experimentation with theatrical elements, including design and orchestration, giving authors and creative teams a laboratory in which to create new work that contains all the aspects of a full-scale production, while maintaining a safe creative environment for risk-taking and experimentation.
DEATH FOR FIVE VOICES has been developed from concept to full script through a workshop process with Prospect's founding artists Peter Mills and Cara Reichel over the past six months. Audiences will have the opportunity to experience the first staging of this original new musical drama and engage with artists in discussion about the work and process of creating the production.
Featuring a book by Mills and Reichel, music and lyrics by Mills and direction by Reichel, DEATH FOR FIVE VOICES will be presented at the West End Theatre in the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew. Performances begin March 6, 2013 and continue through March 17.
A talkback with Mills and Reichel and other members of the production team will be held on Saturday, March 16th at 5:30pm and is free and open to the public.
Set amid the political intrigue, religious conflict and artistic vibrancy of the late Renaissance, DEATH FOR FIVE VOICES investigates the dark harmonies of Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa - who is remembered for his unusually complex sacred music and for the extravagantly vicious double murder of his wife and her lover. Featuring a sophisticated and intimate choral score, this thrilling new musical explores sexual and creative passions while illuminating the fine line between madness and genius.
Mills and Reichel's prior collaborations include Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge, Illyria, The Rockae, The Flood, Honor, and The Pursuit of Persephone, among other works. Mills has been honored for his work with the prestigious Cole Porter Award (2011), Kleban Prize for Lyrics (2010), and the Fred Ebb Award (2007). He is the lyricist for the upcoming Broadway musical The Honeymooners.
The cast of DEATH FOR FIVE VOICES will feature Wilson Bridges (Signs of Life) as Carlo Gesualdo, with Ryan Bauer-Walsh (Billy Elliot), Meghan McGeary (The Blue Flower with Prospect Theater Company, A.R.T. and Second Stage, Prospect's The Rockae), Hannah Jane McMurray (The Hidden Sky), Diane Phelan (Prospect's Honor), Peter Saide (Jersey Boys) and Thom Sesma (The Times They Are A-Changin', Man of La Mancha, Nick & Nora).
Scenic design for DEATH FOR FIVE VOICES is by Ann Bartek (Prospect Theater Company's Myths and Hymns). Costume design is by Sidney Shannon (Prospect Theater Company's The Blue Flower, Iron Curtain, Honor). Lighting design is by Susan M. Nicholson (The Who's Tommy 15th Anniversary Concert). Daniel Feyer (Prospect Theater Company's Working - A Musical, With Glee and The Pursuit of Persephone, Evil Dead: The Musical) is the musical director. Stage management is by Michele Connolly. Casting is by Jason Najjoum.