Far From Heaven e-Bulletin
May 08–JUNE 30
The guidelines of our literary department state that we do not accept dramatic adaptations from other sources, except for musicals. As a writer’s theater, we often find the authorial voice becomes commingled or overshadowed by the originating writer in straight adaptations. But the form of the musical theater is essentially synthetic (made, not observed) and depends on the collaborative synergy of its creators to come into being. The best musicals find their originality and their voice through transformation. It usually behooves the creators to steer clear of widely known or beloved novels or films where an audience might have firmly held preconceptions about the source. Musicals based on somewhat more obscure sources usually provide the creators more artistic leeway.
Why Far From Heaven?
RG: We went to the diner to talk about ideas. It popped out. Weirdly, I’d been trying to think of something to work on with another composer for months and this had never occurred to me. It turned out Scott loved the movie as much as I did.
Michael Korie: In New York, it’s always the right time for a musical about repressed homosexuality, spousal abuse, and racial politics. Now is particularly the right time because in a stealthy way it’s about today. My goal is to create musicals about the America we live in but without making it obvious. The audience at first believes it’s seeing a period piece. Then the realization creeps up, ‘Oh, this all still happens!’
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT, CAST, & DIRECTOR
Visit our show page to read more about Far From Heaven including bios for Scott Frankel, Richard Greenberg, Michael Korie, and the cast!
There seems to be a modern complaint about musicals today that you can’t throw a stone down Broadway without hitting a marquee for a show adapted from a recent hit film. As often as not, these productions are seen as a quick fix for the instant marketing and branding of commercial enterprises rather than original shows. However, adaptation in musicals is nothing new, and people have been turning to other sources for a very long time. What’s often overlooked is that the process of adaptation, at its best, finds ways to expand the form of the musical and deepen the manner in which these stories explore our essential humanity.
BACKSTORY: RUNNING IN SIRK-LES
“It was a simpler time” rings the mantra of the Greatest Generation when reflecting upon the American 1950s. Enshrined in our memories by iconic shows like “Leave it to Beaver” and “I Love Lucy,” the 1950s housewife has assumed an almost mythical presence in our cultural consciousness, lamenting an easier time of economic prosperity when neighbors greeted one another in their driveways, kids played stickball in the streets till dusk and the idyllic June Cleaver eagerly awaited her husband’s return from work with a plate of piping hot dinner in her carefully manicured hand.
MEET THE TEAM
During the run of Far From Heaven, post-performance discussions with Scott Frankel, Richard Greenberg, and Michael Korie have been scheduled for the following dates:
– Sunday, May 12 (following the matinee)
– Friday, May 17
– Wednesday, May 22
These discussions are an important aspect of our play development process. We hope you can take part!
The Lab Report
Every new play contains a unique system of rules, a volatile and delicate alchemy of character and story, language and spectacle, content and form. As a playwrights’ theater, our goal is to decode the rules specific to each new play. This asks for a malleable laboratory environment, shape-shifting according to the needs of each project. We call this our New Works Lab, in which we seek out, commission, and develop the country’s most essential, adventurous playwriting.
It was cold and snowy outside this February, but in the Lab we had more than a few irons in the fire. We kicked off the month in the company of our friends at Clubbed Thumb with our third SuperLab of the 2012/13 Season, Phoebe In Winter, by Jen Silverman (Crane Story), directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt (Recall). At the end of the month, we spent three days getting to know The Patron Saint of Sea Monsters with PH veteran Marlane Meyer (The Chemistry of Change) and director Lisa Peterson (The Model Apartment). Finally we dove into March by spending three days with PH Weingarten Commission Serial Black Face by Janine Nabers (Annie Bosh is Missing), directed by Carolyn Cantor (The Great God Pan). Coming up next is yet another SuperLab: Sex Play by Sylvan Oswald (Nightlands), directed by Eric Hoff (Pony).
We couldn't do it without you
Since 1978, Playwrights Horizons has been committed to developing and producing new works of musical theater alongside new plays. Groundbreaking and award-winning musicals have premiered at Playwrights Horizons, including Sunday in the Park with George, Once on this Island, Assassins, James Joyce’s The Dead, and Grey Gardens. Audiences count on Playwrights Horizons to present intimate, character-driven musicals that emphasize story over spectacle. Now the theater is producing the world premiere of Far From Heaven by Richard Greenberg, Scott Frankel and Michael Korie. Playwrights Horizons has been involved with the musical from the start: the theater commissioned the piece through its Musicals in Partnership Initiative, held two developmental workshops that enabled the creative team to collaborate on revisions, and partnered with the Williamstown Theater Festival to further develop the musical.
Far From Heaven is the largest production in Playwrights Horizons’ history, featuring 18 actors, 7 musicians, and period set and costume design. It was clear that it would take the extraordinary support and vision of a diverse group of supporters to bring this musical to life in the Mainstage Theater. The donors who responded to this project are indeed extraordinary: they believe strongly in Far From Heaven’s writers, script, score, and its future as a great American musical. Thank you to the following foundations and individuals, and to the many others who are supporting this production:
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Laurents / Hatcher Foundation
Stacey & Eric Mindich Fund for New Musicals at Playwrights Horizons
Joanne & Daniel Smith
Cathy & Stephen Weinroth
National Alliance for Musical Theatre
The Tobin Theatre Arts Fund
The Elroy and Terry Krumholz Foundation
Member tickets to Far From Heaven are $40 each (reg. $80) for all performances. YOUNG MEMBERS: 30&Under Member tickets are $20; Student Member tickets are $10.
SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY
SUBSCRIBERS: For Far From Heaven, subscribers may reserve one guest ticket per package at $50 each.
FLEXPASS HOLDERS: FlexPass holders may use tickets in your account to bring guests.
MEMBERS: Order one guest ticket per package per production for $50 when you reserve your own.
YOUNG MEMBERS: You can buy one guest ticket per production. If your guest is under 30, the ticket is $25. If your guest is a Student, the ticket is $15.
We recommend Far From Heaven for those aged 9+.
Go to Plan Your Visit to find out more about directions, parking, and neighborhood discounts!