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Picnic at Hanging Rock, Tales of the City, and More to Be Developed at O'Neill Theater Center logo
Jeff Whitty
The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center has announced the musicals and plays to be developed this summer at the O'Neill's campus in Waterford, Connecticut. The works will be developed with professional actors, directors, and music directors in an intensive series of rehearsals, discussions, and public readings.

The 2009 National Music Theater conference, to be held June 27-July 11, will feature two musicals. Picnic at Hanging Rock -- featuring book, music and lyrics by Daniel Zaitchik -- is a new musical adaptation of Joan Lindsay's novel that follows a group of schoolgirls from a prestigious boarding school, and what happens after three of them vanish during a picnic on Valentine's Day in 1900. Tales of the City is a musical adaptation of Armistead Maupin's series of novels, and features a book by Tony Award winner Jeff Whitty with music by the Scissor Scissors' Jason Sellards (aka Jake Shears) and John Garden, with lyrics by Sellards. The story follows a community of friends, lovers, and others who reside at the mythical address of 28 Barbary Lane in 1976 San Francisco.

The 2009 National Playwrights Conference, to be held in the month of July, will feature Julia Cho's The Language Archive, about a linguist whose marriage starts to unravel; Lauren Gunderson's Fire Work, a love story about a woman who runs a small fireworks shop in a nowhere town; and Pulitzer Prize-winner Nilo Cruz's The Color of Desire, to be directed by Wendy C. Goldberg. Set in 1960 Havana, it involves an American businessman who hires a Cuban actress to play the woman he loved and lost.

Play selections will also include Gregory Moss' House of Gold, about a lost little girl who is brought to a house suspiciously like the one she grew up in; Josh Tobissen's Spoon Lake Blues, about brothers who start robbing the homes of their rich neighbors in a quickly gentrifying mountain town; Emily Schwend's Carthage, about the family secrets that emerge when a man reconnects with his brother, who is being released from a state institution; and Abbie Spallen's Bogwog, about the very beginning of the conflict in Northern Ireland.

In addition to the chosen projects, the O'Neill will invite three playwrights to be writers-in-residence as part of the 2009 NPC including Katia Rubina, Tracey Scott Wilson, and a playwright to be announced.

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