Penelope—a new musical with music and lyrics by Alex Bechtel and a book by Bechtel, The Great Comet star Grace McLean, and Eva Steinmetz—starts a world-premiere run at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in Garrison, New York, September 2. Opening night is September 3, with performances continuing through September 17.
Broadway's Tatiana Wechsler (Mr. Saturday Night) stars as Penelope, with Christine Bokhour serving as understudy. The musical reimagines the ancient Greek story The Odyssey by telling it from the point-of-view of Penelope, Odysseus's wife.
Steinmetz is directing the production, which features costume design by Rebecca Kanach, lighting design by Oona Curley, sound design by Palmer Hefferan, and orchestrations by Bechtel. Jo Fernandez is stage manager, and Buffy Cardoza is prop designer. Daniel Kelly is music director, leading a five-person band from the piano.
The piece has been in development for several years, including with the Founders' Club Residency within the Orchard Project.
Penelope follows the festival's earlier staging of Henry V, which played May 31–August 21 starring Emily Ota in the title role. That production ran in repertory with Love Labor's Lost, which performed through August 27.