Duncan Sheik
(© David Gordon)
Duncan Sheik
(© David Gordon)
Tony Award winner Duncan Sheik and Tony Award nominee Nell Benjamin will write a musical based on Kate DiCamillo's 2000 novel, Because of Winn-Dixie which tells the story of a 10-year-old girl who gains confidence and rekindles her relationship with her father, thanks to a stray dog.

Producers are already planning a 2012 workshop production, to be directed by John Tartaglia, and are considering both out-of-town and Broadway engagements.

While no human actors have been cast, the show producers have selected an Irish Wolfhound named Taran to star in the workshop. The show's animal director will be Bill Berloni, who has worked on such Broadway productions as Annie and Legally Blonde, and has received the Tony Award Honor for Excellence.