Kim Rosenstock has written several plays including Tigers Be Still which played a sold-out run in its premiere at Roundabout Underground and was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award. She is currently working on commissions for Dallas Theater Center, Roundabout Theatre Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Ars Nova, where she was the 2011 Playwright-in-Residence. Awards include the Clauder Prize from Portland Stage Company and Aspen Theater Masters' Visionary Playwright Award. She is a graduate of Amherst College where she first began writing plays under the mentorship of Constance Congdon, and holds an MFA in playwriting from Yale School of Drama. She is originally from Baldwin, Long Island and currently resides in Los Angeles where she writes for the television show, New Girl. (As of March 2013)
Will Connollyoriginated the role of "Andrej" in the Tony-winning musical Once on Broadway. He has also worked with New York Theater Workshop, Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, Roundabout Theater Company, New York Stage & Film, A.R.T., Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Center Theatre Group, The Old Globe, Yale Rep, Southern Rep, Amsterdam Fringe Festival, and others. As a musician, Will has performed at Lincoln Center, 54 Below, Joe's Pub, Ars Nova, The Bitter End, and others. He plays bass, guitar, ukulele and percussion on the Grammy-winning Once soundtrack. Will is a founding member of The NOLA Project, a resident artist with Studio 42, and a Carbonell Award recipient. BFA, NYU; MFA in Acting from Yale School of Drama. (As of October 2013)
MICHAEL MITNICK’s credits include Sex Lives of Our Parents (world premiere Second Stage Uptown), Ed, Downloaded (world premiere Denver Center, W.E.T.), & Spacebar: A Broadway Play by Kyle Sugarman (world premiere City Lights, Studio 42). A sold-out concert of his songs played Joe’s Pub this past fall. He composed the score to the short film Well Fed & Comfortable. Michael wrote the screenplay for The Giver, starring Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges to be released this summer. He is currently writing the book for the Broadway-bound musical of Animal House. Ars Nova and P73 Playgroups. 2012 Visionary Playwright Award. 2013 Variety’s Top 10 Screenwriters to Watch. Commissions from The Roundabout and Manhattan Theatre Club. MFA in Playwriting from The Yale School of Drama. He lives in Brooklyn.
FLY BY NIGHT will enchant audiences. Off-Broadway’s answer to The Fault in Our Stars. Romance doesn’t come any sweeter than it does in this winsome love triangle set around the time of the 1965 New York blackout. The score is charming and catchy. Its unabashed emotionalism could turn it into more than a hit. It could turn it into a cult phenomenon.
—Elisabeth Vincentelli, NY Post
Gracefully directed by Carolyn Cantor, the first-rate cast gleams with professional polish. The score is guaranteed to take up longtime residence in your ear.
Magical. A terrific cast. Adam Chanler-Berat is a gifted comic soul. Patti Murin’s spot-on comic timing is delightful. Allison Case is just swell. Michael McCormick is hysterical. Peter Friedman’s turn is piercing and truthful.
—Robert Kahn, NBC-NY
A sweet natured romantic fable. The cast is brimful of talent.
—David Cote, Time Out NY
An all-around feel-good experience. The musical's sweetness and affection for its characters is refreshing,
—Robert Feldberg, Bergen Record
Genuinely moving. Writers Will Connolly, Michael Mitnick and Kim Rosenstock conjure magic.
—David Finkle, Huffington Post
An impressive mix of raw talent and heart. The production under Carolyn Cantor's smart direction really does manage to fly.
In this darkly comic rock-fable, a melancholy sandwich maker's humdrum life is intersected by two entrancing sisters. Featuring commentary by writers Will Connolly, Michael Mitnick, and Kim Rosenstock.
Tim Sanford: What possessed you to want to write a musical?
Kim Rosenstock: I always secretly really wanted to write a musical. And my friend Michael Mitnick, who was one of the two other playwrights in my class, had a lot of experience writing musicals. Actually, I first learned Michael writes musicals when we interviewed together to be admitted at Yale. And I remember on the train back not knowing if I was going to get in or if he was going to get in, and thinking, “I really hope we both get in and I can somehow trick him into writing a musical with me.” And that was my plan all along, so when this happened the light bulb went off and I said, “Michael, will you write a musical with me?” And he said…
Michael: Absolutely. I had nothing else to do that summer, but being 2/3 of the playwriting class, being around Kim seven days a week for two years, I had not only become the biggest fan of her writing, but also she became my best friend.
Instead of a traditional orchestra, ‘Fly By Night’ boasts the talents of acclaimed Brooklyn/Austin rock band Foe Destroyer, who bring their musical prowess and wildly eclectic sound to the show’s New York premiere at Playwrights Horizons. Equipped with sardonic wit and a plethora of opinions, the three mad geniuses behind the noise—a.k.a. Daniel Garcia, Cade Sadler Chris, and McQueen—discuss with PH's Literary Resident Kari Olmon their songwriting, collaboration, and why they are uniquely suited to play in musicals.
In conjunction with our production of FLY BY NIGHT by Will Connolly, Michael Mitnick, and Kim Rosenstock—a tale of love, hope, and sandwiches set against the backdrop of the northeast blackout of 1965—Playwrights Horizons curated a collection of great NYC love stories and images. Our favorite submissions appear after the jump.
How did the three of you come to collaborate on Fly By Night?
KIM ROSENSTOCK: Michael and I were both students together in the playwriting program at Yale—we actually interviewed together, and I remember him saying that he wrote musicals and thinking, “I hope I get in and that he gets in and that one day I can trick him into writing a musical with me.” Will was in the acting program at the same time.
MICHAEL MITNICK: The Yale Cabaret has a summer stock season and Kim was the artistic director. She wisely chose to give herself a slot.
KR: I was finally in the position to put my musical scheme into action.
MM: I was her biggest fan so I said, sure as long as we could also work with Will, whose songs I thought were wonderful.
WILL CONNOLLY: Then Michael and Kim came to me and said, “Hey! You wanna write a musical with us?” And I was like, “Uh, I have no earthly idea what that means or why you're asking me, but sure, sounds like a fun experiment.”
KR: And then, of course, much to our delight and fear, the hypothetical became actual, and we had about six months to write an original musical.
"States of consciousness, even when successive, permeate one another, and in the simplest of them the whole can be reflected." –Henri Bergson, Time and Free Will
"What does it look like when time stops?" –Fly by Night
A genial Narrator steps forward to set the story of Fly by Night for us. His manner is reassuring, parabolic, and just a little bit halting. It’s a story of three: two sisters from South Dakota, and a sandwich maker. It’s a story with a funeral and a guitar and a band. It’s a story about everyday life and the vastness of the starry sky. It’s a story about a simpler age. And it’s a story about now.
In 2005, a rather remarkable production of Stephen Sondheim’s classic Grand Guignol musical Sweeney Todd appeared on Broadway. Directed by John Doyle, this extraordinary production stood out not because it featured epic effects or oceans of stage blood, but instead because it was pared down to its simplest level. Described as “psychologically astute” by critics, it uniquely featured actors who also played their own instruments. Rather than serving as a gimmick, Doyle’s stylized version of Sweeney allowed the music to act as a direct form of character development and storytelling. Form was allowed to follow function. The result was a production that demonstrated extraordinary depth of character.