The third annual In the Works~In the Woods Festival
at New York's Forestburgh Playhouse will be held September 8-10 and will include a staged reading of the new musical Stage Mother.
A musical adaptation of the 2020 film of the same name, Stage Mother features a book by Brad Hennig, adapted from his screenplay, with music by Zina Goldrich and lyrics by Marcy Heisler. Denis Jones will direct a cast that includes Tony nominee Emily Skinner (New York, New York), Olivier winner Lesli Margherita (Matilda), Alan H. Green (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Miss Jaye, Heather Jane Rolff, Meagan Lewis-Michelson, Hunter Brown, Steve McCoy, and Nolan Quintanilla.
The musical follows Maybelline Metcalf, a church choir director from
Texas, who inherits a San Francisco drag club from her recently deceased son. Through her efforts to save the nightclub from
bankruptcy, Maybelline joins forces with her son’s grieving partner,
their single-mom best friend, and the San Francisco drag community
against a climate of anti-drag backlash.
The upcoming Festival will also include a staged reading of Invisible, a new play by Douglas Lyons (Chicken & Biscuits). Directed by Christopher Betts, the cast will feature Stacie Bono (Parade), Paige Gilbert (The Skin of Our Teeth), Ben Crawford (The Phantom of the Opera), Jerrie Johnson (Harlem), and Matrell Smith (The Equalizer). Invisible tells the story of best friends Eemani and Jade, who decompress one afternoon over a good blunt that is laced with more than weed, spiraling the duo into a wild hallucination where they are granted superpowers at a time when Black women were voiceless.
a new musical for young audiences with a book and lyrics by Julia Gannon
and music by Fernanda Douglas, will also receive a staged reading, directed by Roque Berlanga. Featuring
Hap Gannon, Sarah Hamaty, Jason Long, Macey Robinson, Sofia Ross, and Sushma
Saha, the musical concerns a group of “theatre
kids,” who gather together awaiting the annual musical’s cast list.
Among the other offerings of the 2023 Festival: a reading of a new play, Diary Bonfire, written and performed by Ginna Hoben with direction by Stephanie Weeks; Off the Cuff-Conversations with writers and theatre insiders, including New York Times theatre critic Jesse Green and Tony-winning director Jack O’Brien (Shucked, The Coast of Utopia); and The Catskills CAB LAB, which is under the direction of Alan Muraoka (Sesame Street, Aladdin), with music direction by Steven Cuevas, and will spotlight cabaret performers Cody Garcia and Lu Zielinski.
“The Festival is a vital component of the Playhouse's mission, which is to nurture artists and new works and provide a cultural hub in the Sullivan Catskills,” says Producing Artistic Director Franklin Trapp. “Our third year of the Festival will continue to create a rippling and profound impact on our patrons and participating artists.”
"With two wonderfully magical years under our belts, it is certainly looking like the vibrant and varied 2023 Festival line-up is poised to take us to new heights creatively," adds Festival Artistic Director Matt Lenz. “I'm over the moon at the quality and range of new work we're supporting this year—and I can't wait to host this fantastic group of artists in Forestburgh this September."
For Festival tickets and more information, visit FBPlayhouse.org.