Duncan Sheik
Duncan Sheik
New York Stage and Film and Vassar College have announced the full line-up of their 2011 Powerhouse Theater season.

Among the highlights is a concert reading of the new musical Nightingale (July 8-10), featuring book and lyrics by Steven Sater, music by Duncan Sheik, and direction by Moisés Kaufman. The show is a contemporary musical rendering of Hans Christian Andersen's classic tale of a young emperor who finds his heart in the song of a small grey bird -- and in the soul of a common servant girl -- far beyond the walls of the Forbidden City.

Also receiving concert readings are February House, with music & lyrics by Gabriel Kahane, book by Seth Bockley, and direction by Davis McCallum (July 14-16), about a bohemian commune for the leading lights of 1940s New York, including novelist Carson McCullers, composer Benjamin Britten, poet W.H. Auden, and the infamous Gypsy Rose Lee; and Piece of My Heart, with music and lyrics by Bert Berns, book by Daniel Goldfarb, Brett Berns and Cassandra Berns, and direction by Leigh Silverman (July 28-31), a bio-musical of the composer Bert Berns.

The Main Stage season of fully staged and designed works-in-progress will open with F2M (June 29 - July 10), by Patricia Wettig, directed by Maria Mileaf, and starring Keira Keeley, Ken Olin, Deirdre O'Connell, and Phoebe Strole. The piece takes place during parents weekend freshman year, and Parker's hard-won new identity is put to the test as his family must grapple with the difficult choices of the child they love.

Also receiving a full production is A Maze (July 20-July 31) , by Rob Handel, directed by Sam Buntrock. In it, a graphic novelist struggles to complete his 15,000 page comic book, a musician searches for the inspiration for his next hit, and a young girl strives to recreate her identity after years in captivity.

Mario Cantone and Marin Ireland will star in a semi-staged workshop of David Solomon's Margaret and Craig (July 1-3), directed by Sheryl Kaller. Cantone plays Craig Russell, a 1970s female impersonator battling inner demons on his way to cult stardom, while Ireland portrays his best friend and beloved confidant, author Margaret Gibson.

There will also be a semi-staged workshop of Handball (July 15-17), by Seth Zvi Rosenfeld, in which a handball court earmarked to become a dog run becomes a battlefield in a quickly gentrifying neighborhood.

Singer/songwriter Dar Williams will be featured in a special musical presentation of The Island Musical (July 17), a musical fable about a faraway island whose inhabitants must confront the forces which threaten their magical home, and come together to protect their beloved island.

There will be two sets of readings. The first, presented June 24-26, will feature Playground: The Hallie Flanagan Project by Mattie Brickman; Rising Returns by Daniel MacIvor; Day One, A Hotel Room, Evening by Joanna Murray-Smith; Rivers of January by Ben Snyder; and an additional reading TBD.

Readings set for July 29-31 include The Public by Ed Hime; The Hour of Feeling by Mona Mansour; Matty's Place by Frank Pugliese; Marry Harry by Jennifer Robbins, Michael Biello & Dan Martin; and Sleeping Demon by John Patrick Shanley.

There will also be four Apprentice Company productions: Wuthering (July 7-28), a "Soundpainted" dance theater piece by Mark Lindberg; Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (July 8-11), directed & adapted by Anthony Luciano; Shakespeare's Cymbeline (July 15-18), directed & adapted by Brian McManamon; and a final production TBD, which will run July 22-25.

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