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Shoshana Bean, Taylor Mac, Susan Blackwell Set for Encores! Off-Center Season

Songs for a New World, Gone Missing, and Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope are this year's productions.

Taylor Mac and Shoshana Bean will take part in this summer's Encores! Off-Center series.
(© David Gordon, Joseph Marzullo)

Initial casting has been announced for this summer's Encores! Off-Center productions at New York City Center.

Jason Robert Brown's Songs for a New World open the season from June 27-30. Directed by Kate Whoriskey, the production will star Shoshana Bean, Mykal Kilgore, and Solea Pfeiffer, with choreography by Rennie Harris for an ensemble of dancers being added to the show for this engagement.

Created in collaboration with Daisy Prince, the musical is the first written by three-time Tony Award-winning composer Brown. The show offers a collection of powerful songs examining life, love, and the choices ordinary people make when faced with extraordinary moments.

The Civilians's Gone Missing, running July 11-12 will feature John Behlmann, Susan Blackwell, Aysan Celik, Deborah S. Craig, and Taylor Mac. It will be directed by Ken Rus Schmoll, with music direction by Chris Fenwick, and choreography by Karla Garcia.

This whimsical docu-musical emerged when, in 2003, the theater company the Civilians interviewed real people about the physical objects they'd lost. The show is written and originally directed by Steven Cosson and features a score by the late celebrated composer Michael Friedman, presenting a very personal account of how we deal with loss in our lives.

Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope, by Micki Grant and Vinnette Carroll, runs July 25-28, with a company made up of Malik Akil, Alexandria Bradley, C.K. Edwards, Shonica Gooden, Marla McReynolds, and Allysa Shorte. Savion Glover will direct and choreograph the production with music direction by Chris Fenwick.

A celebration of African-American culture and community, this radical work presents the issues of race politics in America through a lively mix of song and dance with a score that includes gospel, jazz, soul, calypso, and rock.

Full casting for each production will be announced in the coming weeks.

Also this summer, the Civilians will team up with New York City Center as artists in residence for the Lobby Project, a series of free, preperformance events presented in conjunction with Encores! Off‐Center productions. Utilizing the Civilians' unique brand of artistic and journalistic exploration, a group of up‐and‐coming composers will create three original, 25‐minute docu‐musicals based on and inspired by interviews with each of the season's original creative teams, as well as other artists and community members who have been affected by the legacy of the shows.

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