Fugitive Songs set to make Australian premiere in Melbourne

SONDER Theatre Co Fugitive SongsBlending traditional folk music with contemporary pop and gospel, that offers a new sound for a restless generation, SONDER Theatre Company presents the Australian premiere of Fugitive Songs at Chapel Off Chapel for a limited season from 29 August 2018.

Fugitive Songs is a 19-song journey by award-winning songwriters, Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen. This innovative song cycle, conceived as half-musical/half-hootenanny, spotlights people on the run: a disgruntled Subway sandwich employee, a jilted ex-cheerleader, a pair of Patty Hearst fanatics, a stoner forced to rob a convenience store against his will, and many others.

This production will mark 10 years since the original New York production and will be directed by Dirk Hoult (We Were There, Share My Blankets) with Musical Direction by Caleb Garfinkel (bare the musical, Spring Awakening) who have assembled some of Melbourne’s most exciting talent to bring the production to life.

Fugitive Songs features recent WAAPA graduate Bailey Dunnage, Jessica Papst (Carole King – The Songbook of Her Life, Great Southern Band), Luisa Scrofani (In The Heights, Spring Awakening, Motor-Mouth Loves Suck-Face), Lachlan Hamill (Motor-Mouth Loves Suck-Face, The White Mouse), Saxon Gray (Hotel Sorrento, Moonlite) and newcomer Anna Wilshire.

“I feel incredibly fortunate to be directing the Australian premiere of Fugitive Songs for SONDER Theatre Co., having never seen a production of the show myself, I’m excited that the cast and I get to attack the work with fresh eyes, open minds and open hearts.” says director Dirk Hoult.

In addition to Fugitive Songs, Chris Miller (music) and Nathan Tysen (lyrics) are the songwriting team behind the critically acclaimed Broadway musical Tuck Everlasting (Outer Critics & Drama League nominations, Best Musical) and The Burnt Part Boys (Lucille Lortel Nomination, Best Musical). Current projects include commissions from Lincoln Center Theater and Playwrights Horizons/Theatreworks Silicon Valley.

They have also written two circuses for Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey, contributed to the revue Stars of David, collaborated with the Broadway Inspirational Voices, and penned an adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg’s book The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (Boston Globe Top Ten Pick of 2008). Television work includes songs for Sesame Street (2012 Daytime Emmy Award), Elmo’s World, and The Electric Company.

Miller is a contributing composer to Mark Campbell’s song cycle Songs From an Unmade Bed produced at the New York Theatre Workshop. In 2010 he co-composed the first New York revival of Angels in America with Michael Friedman, directed by Michael Greif at the Signature Theatre.

Currently he is working on an original musical as part of the American Musical Voices Project: The Next Generation at Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA, as well as a song cycle for soprano and orchestra based on the poetry of Willa Cather, called Prairie Songs.

Tysen was represented on Broadway in 2017 as co-lyricist of Amélie (music and co-lyrics by Dan Messé). In 2016 he received the Kleban Award for most promising lyricist. He is also librettist and co-composer of the rock theatre piece Stillwater with his band Joe’s Pet Project.

With composer Ryan McCall, he wrote the book and lyrics to the family holiday musical Noah’s Art. He has worked for over a decade writing and directing for the Lovewell Institute for the Creative Arts, helping to create over a dozen new musicals with young adults.

“A powerful yearning weaves through the tunes that make up Fugitive Songs, a song cycle tailored to anyone who has ever thought of shucking his job, his mate or his life to start anew.” – VARIETY

Fugitive Songs
Chapel Off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran
Season: 29 August – 2 September 2018
Information and Bookings: www.chapeloffchapel.com.au

Image: Fugitive Songs Cast (supplied)