Harvard University has announced that its upcoming undergraduate production of Bat Boy: The Musical will debut new scenes and songs by the show's original writers: composer/lyricist (and Harvard alum) Laurence O'Keefe (Legally Blonde: The Musical, Heathers: The Musical) and bookwriters Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming. The writing team has been collaborating with the undergraduate cast and crew in various writing sessions and workshops to develop the new material, which will be presented in the University production in November.
Bat Boy: The Musical, a comedy inspired by a 1992 Weekly World News story inventing a tale of a half-boy/half-bat dubbed "Bat Boy," premiered at Actors Gang Theatre in 1997 and went on to receive an off-Broadway production in 2001 at the Union Square Theatre. The musical has also received productions in London's West End and at the Edinburgh Festival.
According to O'Keefe, it was a call from music director Cynthia Meng that inspired the idea to continue the show's development at Harvard. In a statement from the composer, he called the University production "the ideal stress-free environment to workshop new material."
"Working with the writers has been an incredible opportunity to experience handling new material and to be involved in improving this famous show," said director Ally Kiley. "It's been enlightening (and frankly really cool) to watch changes happen in real time and to workshop different versions of scenes as we approach a final version of the script."
"This experimental process has been very much like the original Bat Boy workshops," added O'Keefe. "We may still be making decisions right up to opening night. I’m sure the undergrads won’t mind that at all. After all, they’re Harvard students. How complicated can their lives be?"
Performances are scheduled to run at Harvard University's Farkas Hall from November 14-23.