Creative Cauldron to Stage Award-Winning Musical Caroline, or Change
Creative Cauldron presents the award-winning musical Caroline, or Change, with book and lyrics by Tony Kushner (Pulitzer Prize, Angels in America), score by Jeanine Tesori (Tony Award, Fun Home), and directed by Creative Cauldron Artistic Associate Matt Conner. Caroline, or Change was nominated for six Tony Awards in 2004 and won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical in 2007. Tesori's Drama Desk Award-Winning score combines spiritual music with blues, Motown, classical and Jewish klezmer music. The production will run from May 5th through May 29th, 2016 at ArtSpace Falls Church. Press Night is May 7th, 2016 at 8 PM.
Set in Louisiana, 1963, Caroline, or Change is the story of Caroline Thibodeaux, a black maid who forms an unexpected bond with a young Jewish boy, Noah Gellman, while working for his family. Utilizing Kushner's signature aesthetic that combines down-to-earth humanism with unabashed fantasy, Caroline, or Change features a chorus of radios and a singing washing machine. Veteran actress and Howard University professor Iyona Blake will star as Caroline Thibodeaux. Blake has appeared previously at Creative Cauldron in last season's sold-out cabaret performance of Love as We See It and as Asaka in the 2016 Helen Hayes Awards Nominated Once On This Island. Ethan Van Slyke makes his Creative Cauldron debut as Noah Gellman. Van Slyke has appeared previously in Oliver! (Arena Stage), The Secret Garden and Merry Christmas Charlie Brown (NextStop Theatre).
Director Matt Conner received a 2016 Helen Hayes Award Nomination for Outstanding Director of a Musical - HELEN Production with Stephen Gregory Smith for Creative Cauldron's 2015 production of The Turn of the Screw. He directed Creative Cauldron's 2015 production of Once on This Island, which received a 2016 Helen Hayes Awards Nomination for Outstanding Musical - HELEN Production. Conner is a nationally recognized musical composer known for Nevermore, Night of the Living Dead: The Musical, and The Hollow. In 2008, Conner was one of six composers awarded a commission through Signature Theatre's (Arlington, VA) "American Musical Voices Project: The Next Generation." His new musical Silver Belles, written with Allyson Currin and Stephen Gregory Smith, will premiere at Signature this winter.
Book Writer and Lyricist Tony Kushner is a playwright best known for his two-part Pulitzer Prize-Winning epic Angels in America: a Gay Fantasia on National Themes, for which he also received back-to-back Tony Awards. He co-authored the screenplay for the 2005 film Munich, and wrote the screenplay for the 2012 film Lincoln (both directed by Stephen Spielberg). Kushner's plays A Bright Room Called Day and The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures have been produced locally to recent critical acclaim. In 2013, President Barack Obama awarded Kushner the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor for achievement in the arts conferred to an individual.
Composer Jeanine Tesori is the most prolific and honored female theatrical composer in history, with five Broadway musicals and four Tony nominations. In 2015, Tesori shared the Tony award for Best Musical with Lisa Kron for Fun Home, which is currently running on Broadway. Tesori and Kron are the first all female composing team to win this award. Tesori won the 2004 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music for Caroline, or Change. Her other major works include, Shrek The Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Violet.
The creative team for Caroline, or Change includes Walter "Bobby" McCoy as Musical Director, Margie Jervis as Scenic and Costume Designer, Lynn Joslin as Lighting Designer and Kara-Tameika Watkins as Choreographer. The remaining cast features Kara-Tameika Watkins, Deandriea Norman, Tiffany Byrd, Jane Petkofsky, Robert Biedermann, Carli Smith, Harv Lester, Malcolm Lee, Tiara Whaley, Joe Palka, Awa Secka and Ashley Nicholas.
Tickets for Caroline, or Change can be purchased at creativecauldron.org or by calling 703-436-9948.
Creative Cauldron will also be hosting a Post-Show Discussion Series. The discussions will feature a variety of community leaders, historians, and more and include a question and answer session. Included in the Series will be the Director, Matt Conner, Freedom Writer Joan Trumpauer Mulhollad, writer and Nauk Community Historian, Dr. Alfred O. Taylor, President of the Fairfax Chapter of the NAACP and member of the Fairfax County Community of Trust Committee, Shirley Ginwright, Operation Understanding DC Program Director, Avi Edelman, and Dramaturg and Lecturer of Theater Arts at Howard University, Otis Ramsey-Zoe. For more details on the discussion leaders and the dates of the Discussion Series please visit creativecauldron.org.