Love, secrecy and their consequences are the subject of Cloudlands, a new SCR-commissioned musical drama by Octavio Solis and Adam Gwon, directed by Amanda Dehnert. See photos of the production, which opened last night, April 20, below!
Cloudlands tells the story of Monica, a Bay Area teenager, who stumbles upon a clandestine meeting between her mother, Caroline, and a mysterious stranger. What follows is a young woman's quest for the meaning of love as she unravels a long-kept secret that irrevocably changes them all. The haunting tale is punctuated by live original music by Gwon, with lyrics by Solis and Gwon.
Opening night marked the culmination of a two-year development process of great intensity and depth. According to Associate Artistic Director and Cloudlands dramaturg John Glore, "We have invested more financial and human resources into Cloudlands than any other commission in SCR's 48 years of nurturing new plays, including four workshops and a staged reading in 2011's Pacific Playwright's Festival."
"This is a relationship that has borne many fruits," said SCR Artistic Director Marc Masterson. "It's a very special journey for all of us."
Gwon's first collaboration with SCR was 2010's original musical Ordinary Days, while Solis' relationship with SCR stretches back to the early '90s, when his play Man of the Flesh had its world premiere here. Dehnert is making her SCR directorial debut. Recent credits include Julius Caesar at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and she is a resident director with the Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island.
Addi McDaniel, who currently appears in the Broadway show The Fantastiks, will make her SCR debut as Monica. Katrina Lenk, who audiences will remember as trophy wife Michaela Kell in this season's hit Elemeno Pea, will play Monica's mother, Caroline. Caroline's lover, Victor, will be portrayed by Joseph Melendez, who appeared in the 2000 Broadway revival of Jesus Christ Superstar, while Robert Mammana, whose many theatre credits include Les Miserables, Showboat, and Man of La Mancha, will appear as Caroline's husband, Gerald. Rounding out the cast as Monica's friend and former boyfriend, Kevin, is Adam Kaokept, who has performed in national tours of Mamma Mia! and Bye Bye Birdie.
Honorary producers for this show are The Playwrights Circle. Cloudlands was commissioned and developed by South Coast Repertory with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. SCR's new play programs are also supported by the Shubert Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Elizabeth George Foundation. Special thanks to the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.
Shows start at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday nights, with matinees starting at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets can be purchased online at www.scr.org, by phone at (714) 708-5555 or by visiting the box office at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa. Prices range from $20-$68.
South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, at the Bristol Street/Avenue of the Arts exit off the San Diego (405) Freeway in the Folino Theatre Center, part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Parking is available off Anton Blvd. on Park Center Drive.
Post show discussions will be held Tuesday, April 24, and Wednesday, April 25. Discuss the play with members of the cast following the performance. Free. "INSIDE THE SEASON:" Saturday, May 5, 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. is a two-hour interactive session featuring set tours and Q&A's with creative personnel. Tickets: $12. (Tickets to the show are sold separately.)
Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson and now under the leadership of Artistic Director Marc Masterson and Managing Director Paula Tomei, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. SCR is committed to theatre that illuminates the compelling personal and social issues of our time, not only on its stages but through its wide array of education and outreach programs. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation's largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers and composers. Each year, it showcases some of country's best new plays in the Pacific Playwrights Festival, which attracts theatre professionals from across the country. Of SCR's more than 460 productions, one-quarter have been world premieres, whose subsequent stagings achieved enormous success throughout America and around the world. Two SCR-developed works have won Pulitzer Prizes, and another eight were named Pulitzer finalists. In addition, SCR works have won several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, California, SCR's Folino Theater Center is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio. Today, SCR produces 13 shows and eight public readings each season.
Check out photos from SCR's new musical CLOUDLANDS below!
Photo credit: Henry DiRocco