By Michael Gioia
17 Jun 2013
Directed by Gregory Fletcher with musical direction by Jessica Corbin, the 8 PM readings will also feature Xander Chauncey, Laura Fois and Ben Rezendes.
The musical, based on the Cottingley Fairy Hoax, features music by Jay D'Amico and a book by Tom Diggs. Steven Petrillo and Natalie Mosco produce the New York City readings.
The Fairy Hoax, according to press notes, "is a family musical about Dulcie, a teen-age girl in Yorkshire, England, who fakes the taking of photographs of fairies in order to save her relationship with her mother, which has been torn apart by the First World War. With the help of Francis, an eccentric male friend, Dulcie manages to create a series of photographs that not only cheer up her mother, but also enchant a nation. With the help of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and The Strand magazine, the children's celebrity around the faked photos goes too far as Dulcie's life becomes unbearable watching her mother go 'round the bend.' And when Dulcie feels betrayed by Francis, she decides to stop all talk of fairies and give up her celebrity status in order to preserve what’s left of her family."
"The advances in technology during World War I have very clear parallels to the present," added playwright Diggs. "We've seen it in many recent theatre pieces from War Horse to Journey's End. I wanted to write a piece about how a grieving nation of intelligent people can be led to believe just about anything. The horrors of war lead many of us to reach out for spirituality. Wherever hope points us."
The Fairy Hoax was originally developed at the Kennedy Center where it became the straight play A Yorkshire Fairy Tale, which won the Aurand Harris Award at NETC in 2006. It was nominated for the Arnold Weissberger Award, a Princess Grace Finalist and produced Off Off-Broadway at the Michael Weller Theater by Off The Leesh productions. The Fairy Hoax was part of the 2008 TRU Voices New Musicals Reading Series under the title Once Upon a Wind, produced by Sheila McDevitt at The Players Theatre. It was also given a reading in 2010 by Mind the Entertainment in addition to a prior reading at the Workshop Theatre in 2011 and 2012.
WorkShop Theater Company's mission is to "provide a creative home for our diverse group of playwrights, directors and actors, to hone their talents and cultivate projects, from inspiration through finished production, while encouraging our audience to partner with us in developing new works."
The WorkShop Theater Company is located at 312 West 36th Street, 4th floor (between 8th and 9th Avenues). For more information, visit WorkShopTheater.org.