Theater News

Phoenix Best and Ben Fankhauser to Star in New Biblical Pop Musical A.D. 16

The show will have its world premiere at Olney Theatre Center.

Phoenix Best and Ben Fankhauser will costar in the world premiere of A.D. 16.
Phoenix Best and Ben Fankhauser will costar in the world premiere of A.D. 16.
(© David Gordon)

Olney Theatre Center will present the world premiere of A.D. 16, a new musical by writers Cinco Paul (Schmigadoon!) and Bekah Brunstetter (This Is Us). Directed by Stephen Brackett (A Strange Loop), performances are set to run February 4-March 6.

A.D. 16 follows the story of a teenaged Mary Magdalene as she falls in love with the carpenter's son next door… who happens to be a kid named Jesus. The show features an original score inspired by '90s R&B, hip hop, and pop. The production will star Phoenix Best (Dear Evan Hansen as Mary Magdalene and Ben Fankhauser (Newsies) as Jesus.

Also featured in the cast are Kelli Blackwell as Diana, Alan H. Green as Jacob, Jade Jones as Jessica, Jared Loftin as Nicholas, Calvin McCullough as Matthias, Adelina Mitchell as Ruth, Christian Montgomery as Bartimaeus, Da'Von Moody as Simeon, and Chani Wereley as Esther. Rounding out the ensemble are Alex De Bard, Sylvern Groomes, RJ Pavel, John Sygar, and Kanysha Williams, with Tiffany Lyn Royster and Chris Urquiaga as swings.

The production includes orchestrations and music supervision by Doug Besterman, music direction by Christopher Youstra, choreography by Katie Spelman, scenic design by Walt Spangler, costume design by Emilio Sosa, sound design by Matt Rowe, lighting design by Colin K. Bills, and wig design by Anne Nesmith. Karen Currie serves as production stage manager.

A.D. 16 was developed, in part, at SPACE on Ryder Farm, and at Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, and is a winner of the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.