CONTACT: Amanda Lovins
703-436-9948 or 571-239-5288
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Creative Cauldron Presents World Premiere Musical: Monsters of the Villa Diodati
Featuring Last Season’s Helen Hayes Awards Winners Sam Ludwig and Alan Naylor
January 30 – February 22, 2016 at ArtSpace Falls Church
Falls Church, VA Creative Cauldron has just announced that the role of Lord Byron in its upcoming world premiere musical Monsters of the Villa Diodati, will be played by Sam Ludwig, the winner of the 2015 Helen Hayes Award for “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical” (Hayes category). Alan Naylor, who won the outstanding lead actor award in the Helen category for his role in Creative Cauldron’s Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, will also appear in Monsters in the role of Percy Bysshe Shelley. The musical was written by Stephen Gregory Smith and Matt Conner, and is the second installment in Creative Cauldron’s “Bold New Works for Intimate Stages” five-year commissioning project.
Download the Full Press Release HERE
The musical draws its inspiration from events surrounding a famous gathering of 19th century writers on Lake Geneva during the stormy summer of 1816. Lord Byron, their host, offered his guests a challenge: who among them could write the perfect tale of terror? From this exercise two of the most famous stories in Gothic literature were born: John Polidori’s The Vampyre and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The production will run from January 30th through February 22nd, 2016 at ArtSpace Falls Church. Press Night is Saturday, February 6 at 8:00 pm.
Caitlin Shea, who appeared as Miss Jessel in Creative Cauldron’s critically-acclaimed 2015 premiere, The Turn of the Screw, will play the role of Mary Shelley. The role of John Polidori, Byron’s young physician, will be played by David Landstrom, and Claire Claremont, Mary’s stepsister, will be played by Catherine Purcell. Landstrom appeared in Guys and Dolls and Avenue Q at the Olney Theatre Center, and in Dogfight at the Keegan Theatre. Purcell appeared in Heart and Soul: The Music of Frank Loesser at the Kennedy Center and in Girl vs. Corinth at New Yorks Monumental Theatre.
Matt Conner’s prior musical works have been performed at Signature Theatre and at other professional venues in the metropolitan DC area. In 2006, Matt Conner received his first critical recognition as a composer with Nevermore, a musical based on the life and poetry of Edgar Allan Poe, which The Washington Post praised for its “romantic music…ablaze with feeling.” In 2008, Conner was one of six young composers awarded a commission through Signature’s “American Musical Voices Project: The Next Generation.” His musical The Hollow based on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, premiered at Signature in 2011, and in 2013 Conner premiered Crossing, a musical inspired by stories from the Underground Railroad.
Stephen Gregory Smith is a Helen Hayes award-winning local actor, director and writer. He has performed at Arena Stage, Wolf Trap, the Kennedy Center, Ford’s Theater, Signature Theater, MetroStage, Roundhouse Theatre and Olney Theater in both leading and supporting roles. Smith wrote the book for and directed Creative Cauldron’s musical revue, Cole Porter: You’re the Top! (2012), and directed Thunder Knocking on the Door (2013). Both productions received critical raves and Helen Hayes Awards recommendations.
In 2010, Smith joined forces with Conner on a musical version of George Romero’s 1968 cult classic horror film Night of the Living Dead. After workshop productions in New York City and Kensington, Maryland, Night of the Living Dead: The Musical received its first professional production in 2012 at the New Line Theater in St. Louis, Missouri. Critics applauded their nuanced approach in a production that features no zombies on stage, but skillfully mines the psychology of terror: “writers Smith and Conner have found a way to translate the classic horror story into music and lyrics that are just as terrifying and suspenseful as the original film.”
The creative team for Monsters of the Villa Diodati includes Warren Freeman as Musical Director, Margie Jervis as Scenic Designer, Alison Johnson as Costume Designer and Lynn Joslin as Lighting Designer.
Tickets for Monsters of the Villa Diodati can be purchased on www.creativecauldron.org or by calling 703-436-9948. #####
Who/What: Creative Cauldron’s World Premiere Musical Monsters of the Villa Diodati
Book by Stephen Gregory Smith
Music by Matt Conner
Lyrics by Stephen Gregory Smith and Matt Conner
Featuring Sam Ludwig as Lord Byron, Alan Naylor as Percy Bysshe Shelley,
Caitlin Shea as Mary Shelley, David Landstrom as John Polidori, and Catherine Purcell as Claire Claremont.
When: Production runs January 28 through February 21, 2016
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, Sundays at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm
Press Night/Premiere Gala is Saturday, February 6 at 8:00 pm
Where: Creative Cauldron at ArtSpace Falls Church
410 South Maple Avenue, Falls Church, VA 22046
Info: Tickets Adults $26 Students/Seniors/Military $24
Season Flex Passes and Discounts for Groups of 10 or more
Press Night/Premiere Gala Tickets on Saturday, February 6 $50
www.creativecauldron.org or 703-436-9948
Free Parking is available in the 410 and 400 South Maple Building Garages