21 Sep Divided, New Musical Industry Reading
I directed an industry reading of the new musical Divided after recently directing/choreographing a workshop of it as the inaugural production of the Madison New Works Laboratory*. The reading featured Christina DeCicco (Evita, Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, Sister Act); Samantha Massell (Fiddler on the Roof, La Boheme); Jamison Scott (Memphis, Grease, Spiderman, Motown); L. Steven Taylor (Lion King); Patrick Boll (Old Times, Mamma Mia, Faith Healer, Twentieth Century); Barbara McCulloh (Tom Jones, Peter Pan, The King and I); Lauren Sprague (Cinderella); Deborah Tranelli (Dallas); LaDonna Burns; Michael Hunsaker; Dustin Sullivan; Cedric Cannon; Cynthia Nesbit; and Paul Page.
Written by the mother-daughter writing team of Kristen Lee Rosenfeld (music) and Luanne Aronen Rosenfeld (book and lyrics); Divided is a sweeping saga of the Civil War and its aftermath as seen through the eyes of the women who were left behind. In a country divided by race, religion and politics, a young Southern woman and an African American slave develop a remarkable friendship that alters both of their lives. Divided tells the story of Eleanor (Christina DeCicco) and Hanna (LaDonna Burns), the child they both love, the lies that keep them separated, and the journey they must take to free themselves from the past.
*The Madison New Works Laboratory (MNWL) is a newly established residency which takes place at the Forbes Center for the Perfomring Arts at James Madison University and serves as an incubator of new musicals and a way for university students to connect to working theater professionals in the field. Luanne Aronen Rosenfeld, Kirsten Lee Rosenfeld, and I were all present during the residency of Divided in May 2018, and Broadway actors Christina DeCicco and Jamison Scott led the cast.