Theater News

Ryan Vasquez and Isabelle McCalla to Lead Water for Elephants World Premiere

The new musical will debut at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta.

Ryan Vasquez and Isabelle McCalla
(photos provided by the production)

The Alliance Theatre has announced the cast and creative team for its upcoming world premiere of the new musical adaptation of Water for Elephants. Directed by Jessica Stone, performances will run from June 7-July 9.

Based on the bestselling novel by Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants features a book by three-time Tony nominee Rick Elice (Jersey Boys), and music and lyrics by Pigpen Theatre Co. (The Tale of Despereaux). The cast includes Stan Brown as Camel, Joe De Paul as Walter, Bryan Fenkart (Waitress) as August, Sara Gettelfinger (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) as Barbara, Tony nominee Harry Groener (Crazy for You) as Mr. Jankowski, Isabelle McCalla (The Prom) as Marlena, Wade McCollum (Wicked) as Wade, and Ryan Vasquez (Hamilton) as Jacob.

Rounding out the ensemble are Brandon Block, Antoine Boissereau, Paul Castree, Taylor Colleton, Isabella Luisa Diaz, Gabrielle Elisabeth, Keaton Hentoff-Killian, Nicolas Jelmoni, Caroline Kane, Joel Malkoff, Michael Mendez, Jo’Nathan Michael, Gabriel Olivera De Paula Costa, Samuel Renaud, Marissa Rosen, Alexandra Gaelle Royer, Sean Stack, Matthew Varvar, and Michelle West.

The Water for Elephants creative team includes circus design by Shana Carroll, choreography by Jesse Robb and Shana Carroll, scenic design by Takeshi Kata, costume design by David Israel Reynoso, lighting design by Tony winner Bradley King, sound design by Tony winner Jessica Paz, projections by David Bengali, puppetry design by Camille Labarre, rigging design by Danny Zen, music supervision and arrangements by Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Benedict Braxton-Smith, music direction by Matt Hinkley, orchestrations by Daryl Waters, associate direction by Ryan Emmons, production stage management by Timothy R. Semon, and casting in association with Tara Rubin Casting.

Water for Elephants was published in 2006 and made into a feature film in 2011, directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, and Christoph Waltz. The story follows Jacob Jankowski, who hitches a ride on a mysterious train and finds himself in the heart of a traveling circus, the Benzini Bros Most Spectacular Show On Earth. When charismatic ringmaster August brings Rosie the elephant on as the new star attraction, Jacob and August’s wife Marlena join forces to train her.